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Updated: 2 hours 2 min ago

UN Migration Agency Begins Massive Shelter Upgrade for Rohingya Refugee Camps as Fears of Monsoon Disaster Grow

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 08:49

Cox’s Bazar – As fears mount for the safety of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh ahead of the impending monsoon season, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has launched a major roll out of materials to help 120,000 households in camps and local communities make vital improvements to their shelters.

Over 688,000 Rohingya have fled violence Myanmar since late August, with more still arriving every week. They are now living in cramped, precarious conditions on steep and unstable slopes in the Cox’s Bazar area of Bangladesh – mostly in bamboo and plastic tarpaulin shelters that barely protect them from the elements.

Since September 2017, IOM has already reached around 600,000 people through its initial distribution of emergency shelter materials. But with the risk of heavy rains and cyclone winds just weeks away, urgent action is needed to help them to strengthen the shelters and shore up the soil to reduce the likelihood of deadly landslides.

“The monsoon and cyclones are now imminent in Cox’s Bazar. Floods, landslides and strong winds will be a deadly threat for thousands of Rohingya families,” said IOM Cox’s Bazar shelter programme manager Keisuke Kamiya.

“While it will be impossible to provide safe havens for all, we can mitigate the potential damage to people’s living environment by ensuring access to materials and technical support to improve sites and the robustness of the shelters.” 

The shelter upgrade roll out, which began on 3 February and involves multiple aid agencies, reached 3,000 households in the first three days. It includes the distribution of tarpaulins, bamboo poles, ropes, tie-wires and sandbags. Shovels, wheelbarrows, hoes, digging posts and other tools are also being distributed in communities for shared access to help families to level and stabilize land.

Mohammad Harun, 35, a father of six, was among the first refugees to receive one of the new shelter kits on 3 February. “My current home is built with polythene. It lacks proper walls. We’re living with heat in the day and (cold) dew at night,” he said.

Harun, who arrived in Bangladesh four months ago with his wife and children, also attended a demonstration by IOM shelter staff on how to use the new materials and tools effectively.

“Now we’ll be able to re-build our home properly with the new materials. We won’t have to worry it will get blown away by a storm or that we will get drenched when it rains. It’ll also protect us from the winter wind,” he said.

In the coming weeks, staff from IOM’s mobile shelter team will work throughout the refugee community in Cox’s Bazar to provide monitoring and technical support to help people make their shelters better able to withstand wind and rain.

For more information please contact Fiona MacGregor at IOM Cox's Bazar, Tel. +8801733335221, Email: fmacgregor@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 9, 2018 - 15:50Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

A IOM engineer shows Rohingya refugees how to build stronger shelters to withstand upcoming monsoon wind and rain. Photo: Fiona MacGregor / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Facilitates Release of Refugees from Indonesian Detention Centres

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 08:48

Jakarta – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has facilitated the release of over 500 refugees from immigration detention centres in North Sumatra, Riau, and Riau Island provinces to community housing.    

The release of the Afghan, Somali and Sudanese migrants took place between 29 November and 6 February, and was organized in close cooperation with Indonesia’s Immigration Department, local government officials and police.

All of the released migrants had been intercepted and detained by the Indonesian authorities while trying to reach Australia. While in detention they were identified as refugees by UNHCR. This made them eligible for release and housing in the community, where they will await third country resettlement or voluntary return to their home countries when it is deemed safe to do so.

IOM has worked with Indonesia and Australia since 2000 to combat people smuggling and provide assistance and protection to stranded migrants and refugees. It has assisted over 23,600 people over the past 18 years and its current active caseload amounts to some 8,600 migrants.

The migrants are spread across the Indonesian archipelago, living either in one of 12 immigration detention centres, in temporary shelters or in community housing sites.

While Indonesia often allows refugees, vulnerable migrants and families, particularly those with children, to live in the community, single men seeking asylum are usually detained.  

Indonesian detention centres are often overcrowded and many detainees experience difficult living conditions. IOM provides critical food security, nutrition, education for children, medical aid and psychosocial support. It also steps in to do emergency repair works and improves safety, water, hygiene, and sanitation conditions when necessary.      

IOM has always advocated for alternatives to detention, resulting in the successful establishment of open migrant housing facilities across the country. Since 2010, it has facilitated the release of over 8,200 refugees from detention centres and continues to argue for the release of all of them, while they await durable solutions, including resettlement.

At the same time, IOM has been building the human rights capacity of Indonesian law enforcement officials since 2003. Over the past 15 years the organization has sensitized almost 150,000 officials on human rights, counter-trafficking, counter-smuggling and migrant protection.   

“We have been working in Indonesia for almost 40 years now, always promoting dignity and respect for migrants,” said IOM Indonesia Chief of Mission Mark Getchell.  “We work very closely with the government, particularly the Directorate General of Immigration, towards ensuring the well-being of migrants, with a special focus on the most vulnerable. Every day our staff in the field are working to get migrants out of detention, into the community, and to provide life-sustaining assistance inside the detention centres.”

“It’s been very difficult in detention, but now we are all very happy,” said Ahmed*, one of the newly released Afghan refugees. “It’s getting better by the day. Now, we can move around more freely. We understand the value of freedom and also the need to live harmoniously and peacefully in the community. We are very grateful to Indonesia and Indonesians for accepting us into their community as we await our resettlement abroad.”   

*Name changed for reasons of privacy.

For more information please contact George Gigauri at IOM Indonesia. Email: ggigauri@iom.int, Tel. +62 811 870 2836.

Language English Posted: Friday, February 9, 2018 - 15:48Image: Region-Country: IndonesiaThemes: Refugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Refugees leave Tanjung Pinang immigration detention centre for new community housing. Photo: UN Migration Agency

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 7,795 in 2018; Deaths Reach 390

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 08:48

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 7,795 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first five and a half weeks of 2018, with about 60 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece and Spain, both at roughly 20 per cent. This compares with 12,217 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

On Monday (5 February) IOM Rome reported Italy’s official Ministry of Interior figures indicate some 4,723 migrants arrived by sea to Italy this year, which represents a steep decline compared to the 9,354 arrivals recorded during the same period last year.

After tracking January arrivals similar to those of 2017 and 2016 (see chart, below) through the first week of February Italian authorities have recorded just 541 arrivals in February 2018, considerable fewer than came in during the same months of earlier years.

 

IOM Greece’s Kelly Namia reported Thursday that over three days, 4-6 February, the Hellenic Coast Guard reported at least one incident on Tuesday (06/02) requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Kos, where the Coast Guard rescued 45 migrants and transferred them to that island.

Namia reported that on the previous Monday another 27 migrants arrived on Lesvos, the only other report of landings since Sunday. These landings bring the total to 1,573 since January 1, for an average of just under 44 persons per day.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 1,400 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through January with an additional 88 reaching Spain during February’s first week.

Dodevska also shared the following data from Spain’s Ministry of Interior for Sea Arrivals since 2015:

Dodevska on Monday added that Helena Maleno, a Spanish migration activist residing in Morocco and spokesperson of the NGO Caminando Fronteras, reported via Twitter that there were 47 migrants travelling in a small boat, believed to be the party that included these known victims. They were from Mali, Guinea (Conakry). They remain missing as of Tuesday morning.

Additionally, the Guardia Civil and Salvamento Maritimo have launched a search of another small boat in the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar. A search began after the alert of a non-governmental organization, which reported the presence of a boat near the Strait of Gibraltar.  According to the media agency EFE there were 10 migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa travelling on this boat.

Since the start of December, the Western Mediterranean has been the deadliest of all Mediterranean routes, with over 100 deaths at sea over the past 10 weeks. Total deaths in the Mediterranean in 2018 now stand at 390 through 7 February, compared with 258 same time last year.

In the Central Mediterranean, IOM Libya’s Christine Petré shared an update on rescue/interception activity along Libya’s coastline. IOM Libya reported 2,046 men, women and children were brought in from thwarted smuggling vessels during the month of January, an increase of more than three times over January 2017 activity (see chart below).

IOM Libya’s maritime update for January also has details of the rescues, in which nearly 200 children were returned to shore.

IOM Libya this week also reported 2,178 migrants returned by IOM from Libya to their home countries. Returnees this past week went to four countries – Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and the Comoros – bringing to 8,042 the number of returnees since 28 November 2017, when IOM began its scale up flights from Libya.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 549 migrant fatalities in 2018. Most recently, one migrant died and three were injured in a vehicle accident in a highway near Tanger-Med cargo port in Morocco, near the border with Ceuta, on 2 February.

On the US-Mexico border, two migrants drowned when crossing the Río Bravo over the weekend: on 3 February, the US Border Patrol recovered a body near Hidalgo, Texas, while on 5 February, Mexican civil protection authorities found the remains of a man near Hidalgo Bridge in Reynosa, Tamaulipas.

Seven people have drowned in the Río Bravo since the start of the year.

MMP data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on missing migrants are collected, click here.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic here
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: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: mmocanu@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui at IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Olivia Headon, IOM Libya, Tel: + +216 51 084 554 Email: oheadon@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel: +216 71 860 312 ext. 109, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 9, 2018 - 15:44Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration, OFDA Support Drought-Displaced Populations in Somalia

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 08:44

Mogadishu – The Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) is supporting IOM, the UN Migration Agency to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to drought-affected displaced populations in Somalia’s South Central, Somaliland and Puntland regions.

Somalia continues to face drought conditions spanning the last four consecutive poor rainy seasons, severely aggravating the humanitarian crisis. The most recent Deyr rains (October – December 2017) started late and resulted in approximately 50 per cent below average rainfall in most parts of the country. While this was slightly better than in 2016, crop production is expected to be limited.

In close coordination with the humanitarian community and under the leadership of the Federal Government of Somalia and the regional governments, IOM is providing integrated lifesaving health, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) services to vulnerable drought affected populations.

Kelsi Kriitmaa, Senior Health Technical Advisor for IOM Somalia stated: “Despite the massive increase in humanitarian response in 2017, the prolonged drought is aggravating the crisis and needs continual investment and attention, to maintain the gains made in 2017 to avert famine. Urgent and more sustainable mid- to-long term investment in reducing risk and vulnerability is required.”

IOM started emergency primary health care services at the Bardhere Hospital outpatient department on 1 November 2017. With support from OFDA, IOM has been able to support the outpatient department which had been non-functional for years. Currently, an average day sees 150 patients seeking medical assistance at the hospital. IOM is now also offering emergency primary healthcare services in Sanag on both the Somaliland and Puntland sides of the border, a notoriously underserved area, despite high instances of conflict and displacement.

With support from OFDA, IOM is also implementing CCCM activities in IDP sites in South Central Somalia, including Baidoa, Dollow and Kismayo. The aim of the project is to provide coordination of humanitarian service provision within IDP settlements and act as interlocutor between government, communities and service providers.

IOM activities focus on providing cluster coordination at the national and subnational level, as well as site level management, communication with communities, and site improvement with the aim of improving living conditions and service delivery to displaced populations in sites. IOM is also supporting the provision of emergency sustainable clean and safe water, coupled with hygiene sanitation promotion activities to encourage community behaviour change.

The one-year OFDA-funded project is being implemented with support from the Federal Government of Somalia and regional governments, in particular, regional drought response coordinators, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, line ministries, and the Federal and State Ministries of Health and Water.

For more information, please contact IOM Somalia Programme Support Unit, Tel: +251 715 990600, Email: iomsomalia@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 9, 2018 - 15:39Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration and Climate ChangeDefault: Multimedia: 

Somalia continues to face drought conditions, which is severely aggravating the humanitarian crisis. Photo: UN Migration Agency

Despite the massive increase in humanitarian response in 2017, the prolonged drought is aggravating the crisis and needs continued investment and attention. Photo: UN Migration Agency 2018

IOM continues to provide life-saving assistance to drought affected populations in Somalia. Photo: UN Migration Agency 2018 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

From Shacks to Durable Shelter, IOM Chad Assists Returnees from Violence

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 08:42

Kobiteye, Chad – IOM, the UN Migration Agency earlier this week (05/02) handed over semi-durable shelters to 107 households at the Kobiteye returnee camp on the southern border of Chad that hosts over 5,500 Chadian returnees from the Central African Republic (CAR).

Located some 600km south of the capital city N’Djamena, the Kobiteye site has been home to returnees since 2013. IOM Chad has been active in providing socio-economic and psychosocial support and this latest development was made possible with support from Japan.

This week's handover ceremony was attended by the IOM Chad team led by Chief of Mission Anne Schaefer, local authorities represented by the Prefect and Deputy Prefect of Gore, Chief of Army, Chief of Police, and traditional authorities.

Given the precarious tents that returnees have been using as their only means of shelter, the provision of these semi-durable shelters to the most vulnerable individuals – including women, handicapped persons, and elderly heads of household – constitutes a major improvement in their living conditions and safety.

A representative of the returnees commended IOM Chad’s continued support over the last four years and thanked the people of Japan for funding this project. In the same speech, he advocated for a health centre for the site, stating the tremendous difficulties returnees face in accessing the main health centre, situated one hour by foot from the site.

Schaefer also thanked Japan for its generous donation and the local authorities for their continued support during the implementation of the project. She exhorted the beneficiaries to make good use of the shelters. The representative from the Ministry of Planning and Cooperation expressed the satisfaction of her ministry with IOM’s mission in Chad in general, but more specifically with the durable solution for the Chadian returnees from CAR, which is in alignment with the country’s national development plan.

The Prefect thanked IOM and Japan for their effort and collaboration. He assured IOM of the continued support, assistance, and protection from the local and national authorities in the implementation of IOM’s mission in Chad.

This tri-party collaboration between the Chadian government, IOM and migrants displays a successful implementation of all available resources to facilitate re-integration of migrants into their respective communities in a way that benefits both the migrants and the society. 

For more information, please contact Anne Schaefer, IOM Chad. Tel: +235 602 817 78; Email: aschaefer@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 9, 2018 - 15:38Image: Region-Country: ChadThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

Prefect giving a beneficiary returnee the keys to a semi-durable shelter in Kobiteye, Chad. Photo: UN Migration Agency 2018

Prefect of Gore (left) cutting the ribbon assisted by IOM Chad Chief of Mission. Photo: UN Migration Agency 2018

Official ceremony to hand over semi-durable shelter to Chadians returning from the Central African Republic in Kobiteye. Photo: UN Migration Agency 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, Costa Rica to Promote Migrants’ Right to Education

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 08:37

San José – A plan to promote migrants’ right to education will be implemented in Costa Rica this year. This initiative has been developed thanks to the National Work Plan recently signed by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the Ministry of Public Education (MEP) of Costa Rica.

Minister of Education, Sonia Marta Mora, applauded the signing of the work plan between both institutions. “In this way, we reaffirm the excellent relation and cooperation agenda we have held with this agency, which allows us to move forward jointly, in actions that improve educational services in benefit of migrants. The new educational vision we have developed at the Ministry educates a new citizenry, who is conscious about how different visions of citizens from around the world enrich our country,” said Mora.

In Costa Rica, approximately 9 per cent of the population are migrants, mostly from Nicaragua. According to MEP’s statistics, more than 40,000 migrant children are registered in basic education facilities.

In this context, IOM and MEP will develop strategies for teachers who work with children and adolescents to combat discrimination and xenophobia by promoting the importance of diversity in society. The plan also strengthens rights awareness among migrant children.

“We must strengthen the capacities of teachers to address the topic of migration so they can communicate to their students the main concepts related to migration, the factors that drive this phenomenon, the importance of having an identity document, and above all, the risks associated to irregular migration; particularly, child exploitation, human trafficking, and smuggling of migrants. Signing this plan renews the commitment to work on this subject with teachers at a national level,” said Roeland de Wilde, IOM Chief of Mission in Costa Rica.

The plan frames all the activities and technical support that IOM offers to the Ministry’s different units, as well as the alignment of different activities according to MEP’s annual goals. The workshops and activities carried out within this agreement will include in Costa Rica’s school curriculum the use of technology for migration issues.

The support provided by IOM is part of the Mesoamerica Program, financed by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, and implemented in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. The Mesoamerica Program seeks to contribute to the development and implementation of strategies for regular, orderly and safe migration, ensuring the adequate protection of migrants.

For more information, please contact Patricia Ugalde at IOM Costa Rica, Tel: +506 2212-5300, Email: pugalde@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 9, 2018 - 15:36Image: Region-Country: Costa RicaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Roeland de Wilde, IOM Chief of Mission in Costa Rica (left) with Minister of Education, Sonia Marta Mora. Photo: UN Migration Agency / José Pablo Ovares 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, Somalia Train Frontline Immigration Officials

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 08:36

Mogadishu – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in partnership with the Immigration and Naturalization Directorate of Somalia (IND), hosted a three-month long capacity building exercise, training 71 migration officials to enhance client service delivery and operations at the Mogadishu International Airport (MIA).

The training included customer care and basic English language skills, and finished this last week (04/02).

“Immigration officers’ role at the POE is valuable work; they are stationed at the check points and responsible to implement the country’s policy as well as regulations,” explained said Col. Mohammed Adam Jimcale (Kofi), Director General of the IND. “Foreign and domestic clients are in direct contact with our officers and it is to this end that IOM has supported the officers to improve their communication skills. I thank our government counterparts, the donor and IOM.”

The trained immigration officers, all based at the MIA, benefited from one-month intensive classroom-based and on-the-job training. Apart from the adult learning approaches employed to optimize learning, the trainees also had access to an online platform where additional course material and videos were posted for their use.

Training was tailored to mirror the typical scenarios and conversations that commonly occur between travellers and immigration officers at MIA, rendering the lessons relevant and practical for adoption at work.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, IOM Somalia Immigration and Border Management Programme Officer Stephen Matete said: “IOM continues to work with the Federal Government, to improve essential migration management capacities through training of hundreds of immigration and security officers, provision of equipment and IT systems for passenger inspections, development of the department through diaspora placements and rehabilitation of major regional ports-of-entry.”

Immigration officers are at the front line in identifying and dealing with crimes related to illegal immigration. Enhanced communication among officers enables them to effectively enforce immigration law and best protect the interests of the country as they carry out IND’s mission at their posts of duty.

The close to 4,000 mixed migrants who arrive at, depart from and transit through Mogadishu International Airport each week are to benefit from enhanced service delivery at the Point of Entry.

For more information, please contact: IOM Somalia Programme Support Unit at IOM Somalia, Tel: +251 715 990600, Email: iomsomalia@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 9, 2018 - 15:35Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Immigration Officers follow proceedings. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2018

Jamal Mohamed Hassan, Minister of Planning and International Co-operation issues a certificate. Photo: UN Migration Agency 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Migrant Deaths Remain High Despite Sharp Fall in US-Mexico Border Crossings in 2017

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 08:25

Berlin – The number of migrants who died crossing the United States-Mexico border in 2017 remained high, despite a 44 per cent decrease in border apprehensions reported by the US Border Patrol between 2016 and 2017.
In 2017, 412 migrant deaths were recorded compared to 398 in 2016, according to IOM, the UN Migration Agency. This data was compiled by IOM’s Missing Migrants Project based in Berlin.
“The increase in deaths is especially concerning, as the available data indicate that far fewer migrants entered the US via its border with Mexico in the last year,” said Frank Laczko, Director of IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, which collects the data for the Missing Migrants Project.

The US Border Patrol reported 341,084 migrant apprehensions on the southwestern border of the United States in 2017, compared to 611,689 apprehensions in 2016.
As the likelihood of arrest grows, migrants tend to seek out more remote routes to avoid apprehension. The prolonged exposure to the extreme environments at the border, where temperatures often top 40°C (104°F), combined with the difficulty of bringing assistance those in need in remote areas have repeatedly been cited as leading causes of death.
Texas, where 191 migrant deaths were recorded in the last year, is a particular area of concern. The 2017 total represents a 26 per cent increase over the 151 fatalities recorded in Texas in 2016.
IOM’s office in Mexico reports this is due, in part, to heavy rainfall in early 2017, which made crossing the border into Texas more difficult as the Rio Grande flowed faster and deeper. However, no similar explanation has emerged for the increase in migrant deaths in other areas along the border.
In July 2017, the tragedy of ten migrants who died while trapped in the back of a tractor-trailer in a parking lot in Texas received widespread media coverage. Yet most deaths recorded in the border region occur in relatively low numbers. Those deaths, recorded almost daily during summer months, rarely make headlines beyond the victims’ home communities.
Though data on migrant fatalities on the US-Mexico border are more accessible than in many other regions of the world, they remain incomplete. For example, the number of deaths reported by the US Border Patrol, includes only those which agents deal with directly. “This means that federally reported figures could seriously underestimate the real number of deaths,” said Julia Black, data collection coordinator for the Missing Migrants project.
Official data on migrant deaths on the border are highly fragmented, and information must be collected from local authorities. Because many bodies are difficult to identify due to severe decomposition and a lack of identifying documents, local authorities may not always identify migrant deaths as such. Others provide only aggregate or year-end data, making it difficult to understand how and why hundreds of migrants die on the border each year.
Nonetheless, IOM researchers say they are confident that data reveals the vast majority of migrant border deaths recorded by the Missing Migrants Project occur on the US side of the frontier – though one reason for this may be that coroners, medical examiners, and sheriffs in US border counties are more likely to regularly report data on migrant deaths to IOM staff.
Reports of deaths south of the border often surface locally from radio stations and small newspapers, as well as social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Often IOM researchers become aware of these fatalities weeks, even months after they occur.
The Missing Migrants Project has recorded 1,468 deaths on the US-Mexico border since the project began in 2014, including 14 deaths in January 2018. Most recently, three men drowned in separate locations while attempting to cross the Rio Grande last Wednesday (31/01).

For more information, please contact Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int; Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 15:15Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

Irregular migrants atop freight train, ‘La Bestia’ which takes them through Mexico towards the US. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) / Keith Dannemiller 2014

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 7,511 in 2018; Deaths Reach 390

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 08:25

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 7,511 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first five weeks of 2018, with about 62 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece and Spain, both at roughly 19 per cent. This compares with 10,078 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

On Monday (05/02) IOM Rome reported Italy’s official Ministry of Interior figures indicate some 4,723 migrants arrived by sea to Italy this year, which is roughly a 45 per cent decline from the same period last year, when 8,427 arrivals were recorded.

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported that over the previous four days, the Hellenic Coast Guard informed IOM of only one incident requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Rhodes, on 31 January. The Coast Guard rescued 30 migrants and transferred them to the island. Nine others arrived the same day on Kos – while no other landings were reported over the next three days.

Through Saturday (03/02) IOM reports just 1,501 irregular arrivals to Greece by sea, an average of just under 45 per day.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 1,503 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 5 February.

In the Western Mediterranean, the bodies of 17 migrants and refugees were pulled from the sea off the coast of Melilla, Spain on 3 February. The bodies were spotted on Saturday by a Spanish passenger boat, and sixteen of them were recovered by Moroccan authorities. One body was found in a separate location by a Spanish police boat and was taken to Melilla. Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras confirmed that 47 people were travelling on the boat when it capsized, therefore as many as 30 people remain missing. Among the victims of the tragedy are people from Mali, Guinea Conakry and Cote d'Ivoire.

Additionally, there has been more recent information that the Guardia Civil and Salvamento Maritimo have launched a search of another small boat in the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar. A search began after the alert of a non-governmental organization, which reported about the presence of a boat near the Strait of Gibraltar.

According to the media agency EFE there were 10 migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa travelling on this boat.

Since the start of December, the Western Mediterranean has been the deadliest of all Mediterranean routes, with over 100 deaths at sea over the past 10 weeks. Total deaths in the Mediterranean in 2018 now stand at 390 through 04 February, compared with 257 at this time last year.

In the Central Mediterranean an estimated 90-100 migrants are feared to have drowned off the coast of Libya after a boat capsized last Friday, 2 February. The bodies of one Libyan and 12 Pakistani nationals have been recovered. Over the weekend Pakistan's foreign ministry has confirmed that up to 12 citizens from the country are among migrants who drowned in the shipwreck.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 546 migrant fatalities in 2018. On the US/Mexico border, three migrants drowned when crossing the Río Bravo on 31 January. Their bodies were recovered at different locations in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. In Europe, Croatian authorities reported that they found the body of a man, believed to be a migrant, in a river that flows along the country's border with Slovenia on 2 February.

MMP data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on missing migrants are collected, click here.


 

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic here
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: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: mmocanu@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Olivia Headon, IOM Libya, Tel: + +216510 84554 , Email: oheadon@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel: +216 71 860 312 ext. 109, Mobile +216 28 78 78 05, Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 15:13Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Three Million to Benefit from Modernized Ukraine-Moldova Border

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 08:25

Kyiv – Travellers and traders using the border crossing between Ukraine and Moldova will soon see decreased queues and waiting times thanks to a new European Union-funded project implemented by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the EU Border Assistance Mission to Ukraine and Moldova (EUBAM).

Two border crossing points are being modernized: Kuchurhan-Pervomaisk and Reni-Giurgiulesti. A jointly operated-border crossing point regime is being established, where Ukrainian and Moldovan border and customs agencies will work “under one roof” on the Ukrainian side of the frontier.

IOM is also providing equipment – from furniture and internet servers to weighing and inspection machines.

“The flow through these two border crossing points reaches over three million people and 800,000 vehicles per year,” noted Ambassador Hugues Mingarelli, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine. “The EU supports Ukraine and Moldova in strengthening the security of their joint border, and we are also working for simpler and faster border crossing for travellers and goods.”

The Kuchurhan-Pervomaisk crossing point, located at the Transnistrian section of the frontier, is the busiest, with about 1,800 vehicles and 7,300 persons crossing daily. Control is exercised by both Ukrainian and Moldovan authorities on the Ukrainian side.

The Reni-Giurgiulesti crossing point is also one of the busiest with a high volume of trucks transporting grains for export from Moldova; several large ports and warehouses are also located nearby.

In addition to the refurbishment of the two border crossing points, IOM will help Ukraine and Moldova establish an automated system for information exchange on travellers and vehicles, and provide equipment to set up a common contact point at the Palanca border crossing in Moldova. This will ensure real time data provision for the Ukrainian and Moldovan agencies managing the border.

“We are delighted to be working with the border management and migration agencies of both countries to improve infrastructure and equipment in the selected crossing points,” said IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss.  “Thanks to the European Union, improvement of the jointly operated border crossings will facilitate more secure, transparent, efficient and faster border control and customs procedures. It will bring both countries up to European standards in integrated border management.”

For more information, please contact Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine, Tel: +38 044 568 50 15, +38 967 447 97 92, Email: vzhluktenko@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 15:12Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Two border crossing points between Ukraine and Moldova, Kuchurhan-Pervomaisk and Reni-Giurgiulesti, are being modernized.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Works with Thai Law Enforcement to Combat People Smuggling, Transnational Crime

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 08:25

Bangkok – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, the Royal Thai Police and Thailand’s Office of the Attorney General have organized an inter-agency cooperation training for law enforcement officers and prosecutors to help Thailand to combat transnational crime, including human smuggling and trafficking.

The training was part of a Canadian-funded IOM project: Strengthening Border Management and Intelligence Capacity of Thai Government Officials and was the third of three inter-agency cooperation trainings targeting a total of 89 immigration officers, inquiry officers and prosecutors from 16 provinces.

The latest workshop, which focused on improved data collection and information sharing using the Royal Thai Police-managed Case Management and Intelligence System (CMIS) database, brought together 34 provincial-level police investigators and prosecutors from Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Tak, Si Saket and Trat. 

“Inter-agency cooperation is fundamental to the successful prosecution of transnational organized crime cases. The participation of different law enforcement agencies enhances the overall investigation capacity of the Royal Thai Police and facilitates the building of networks that allow for enhanced cooperation,” said Police Maj. General Ittipol Ittisarnronnachai, Deputy Commissioner of the Thai Immigration Bureau.

“These trainings have raised awareness of the importance of cooperation and equipped officers with the skills needed to effectively collaborate on the identification, investigation and prosecution of cases of transnational crime,” said IOM programme manager Joshua Hart. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Thai Immigration Bureau, the Office of the Attorney-General and Thai law enforcement agencies in combating human smuggling and trafficking.”

For further information please contact IOM Thailand. Joshua Hart, Email: jhart@iom.int, Tel: +66 2 343 9341. Or Reuben Lim, Email: rlim@iom.int, Tel: +66 2 343 9370

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 15:11Image: Region-Country: ThailandThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

Thai law enforcement agencies cooperate to combat transnational crime. Photo: Reuben Lim / UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

International Experts Meet in Beijing to Discuss Global Approaches to Mixed Migration

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 08:25

Beijing – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is today hosting a two-day seminar in Beijing on mixed migration flows under the framework of the European Union (EU)-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility Support Project. 

Mixed migration is the term used to describe complex migratory movements of an irregular nature, triggered by a multiplicity of factors and involving people with different needs and profiles, including economic migrants, asylum seekers, refugees, environmental migrants, unaccompanied minors, smuggled people and victims of human trafficking.

As unprecedented numbers of people leave their homes in search of safety or new economic opportunities, effective management of these flows has become a major challenge for countries around the world. Mixed migratory flows are evident in developed countries, emerging and developing countries alike.

IOM and its partners support governments in adopting shared and practical solutions that take a humanitarian and developmental approach, ensuring that rights of all migrants are safeguarded.  

The Beijing seminar was attended by some 25 Chinese officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Civil Affairs, State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, and Foreign Affairs Office representatives at provincial levels, including Beijing and Shanghai municipalities.  Officials from EU Member States also took part. 

Experts from Germany, Sweden, South Africa and IOM described current global trends in mixed migration flows, national approaches to managing the issue, IOM’s practical response to supporting migrants in countries in crisis, and the role of the international community in establishing shared principles and commitments for effective management of such flows.

“We need to shape an EU migration policy that is robust, realistic and fair. The EU is working closely with partners worldwide, including IOM and UNHCR, to ensure that we continue to manage migration flows and fulfil our obligations to all those in need of international protection,” said EU Delegation Counsellor Marcin Grabiec. 

For further information, please contact Etienne Micallef at the IOM Office in China. Tel: + 86 138 1120 9875;  Email: emicallef@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 15:10Image: Region-Country: ChinaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

International experts meet in Beijing to discuss global approaches to mixed migration. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency in Kuwait Strengthens Capacity for Identifying Trafficking Victims

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 08:25
Language English

Kuwait City – Late last month (28/01) IOM, the UN Migration Agency, concluded a five-day workshop for protection service providers of the Public Authority for Manpower in Kuwait.

Entitled Enhancing the Capacity of Labour Inspectors Towards the Identification of Victims of Trafficking, the workshop was the first of two similar gatherings planned under a project funded by the Embassy of the Netherlands to Kuwait, initiated last October.

Several IOM experts and other regional stakeholders and partners contributed their knowledge and experience. Representatives from the Anti-Human-Trafficking Unit of the Ministry of Interior of Kuwait; the Government Shelter for Foreign Workers; Kuwait Social Works Society; the Counter-Trafficking Unit of the Ministry of Interior in Jordan; and the Labour Inspectors Unit of the Labour Market Regulatory Authority of Bahrain were in attendance.

During the workshop, participants familiarized themselves with the concepts of human trafficking and smuggling, as well as the instruments that international law provides to tackle these crimes. Regarding victim protection, participants were further trained on how to identify and assist victims of trafficking, and which role civil society can play to complement governmental efforts.

Kuwait’s Anti-Human-Trafficking Unit – together with peer organizations attending the workshop – provided valuable insights on their counter-trafficking activities and lessons learned.

At a visit to the Government Shelter for Foreign Workers in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, participants toured a temporary residence that on any average day hosts 250 domestic workers. They also attended a roundtable discussion on future actions in the fields of counter-trafficking and victim assistance.

In the closing ceremony, IOM Kuwait Chief of Mission Iman Ereiqat, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Netherlands Zumreta Jahic, and Deputy Head of the Public Authority for Manpower Abdullah Al Mutotah expressed their optimism for the positive outcomes of the workshop and their expectations for the project’s impact on the protection and services received by migrant workers in Kuwait.

For more information, please contact Iman Ereiqat at IOM Kuwait, Tel: +965 2530 8 164, Email: iereiqat@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 15:09Image: Region-Country: KuwaitDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Community Information Centres Serve Impacted Communities in Mosul: IOM

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 08:06

Mosul – After nearly three years under ISIL control – and a nine-month long battle to retake the city – the people of Mosul, including displaced persons returning to their homes, are struggling to access services.

To assist the people of Mosul, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in cooperation with the Government of Iraq, and humanitarian partners have set up mobile Community Information Centres (CICs).

The CICs operate out of mobile caravans that visit neighbourhoods in Mosul twice weekly. The centres are open to everyone and provide essential information and referrals to services offered by local government and humanitarian organizations including health, legal, employment and livelihoods.

The centres aim to serve large numbers of people, particularly in hard to reach areas, where access to services is hindered by distance, lack of means or lack of security. The centres track requests and services provided, and aim to improve their services based on identified needs and gaps.

“As many Mosul residents return to their areas following displacement, they have a variety of needs, and require information on where to access services,” said IOM CIC staff member Yasmin Rezaq. “The CIC can advise and refer those in need who come to us seeking services. Information is key to recovery for people rebuilding their lives in Mosul.”

“People often request help drafting lease agreements, negotiating with landlords, inheritance issues, land registration, seeking compensation for destroyed property, locating original title deeds, and settling disputes such as forced evictions,” said Nadia Hardman, a Project Manager with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) whose lawyers

provide information and legal counselling in the centres. “Through information and legal counselling, the CICs serve as a communication channel to the communities.”

“I heard from my neighbours about the Community Information Centre… that they facilitate many issues,” said Mohammed Al-Turki from Al-Tahrir district of Mosul. “I asked for help to sort out my marriage certificate which was not completed because of the difficulties we were facing while our area was controlled by ISIL. NRC provided me with legal advice and took my case to court. They even covered the cost of the paperwork and photographs that I needed, so I will have my family documents as well as the marriage certificate soon.”

While Mosul was under ISIL control, Al-Turki got married and became the father of two children. However, he chose not to go to ISIL courts for birth certificates or to register the marriage. He, along with many others in the city, now need to obtain official documents.

The CICs welcome more than 20 visitors per day in the East Mosul neighbourhood of Al-Tahrir neighbourhood and West Mosul neighbourhood of Wadi Hajar. Since the CICs began operations at the beginning of 2018, nearly 300 individuals have visited the centres.

When Iraqi security forces recaptured east Mosul in December 2016, Noora Hamid and her family were displaced for over a month, living in a camp. When they returned they found their house damaged by the conflict and looted.

“One day when I asked a friend about how to find a source of income, someone directed me to the Community Information Centres,” Hamid said. “Later, I received a business package from IOM to run my small home-based bakery. I’m very grateful for the help, which included an oven, a freezer, mincer, saj for baking bread, gas canister and a generator.”

“These centres play a critical role in helping people, when they need guidance,” added Al-Turki. “The thousands who return to Mosul are exhausted after spending months in harsh conditions during displacement. They are often unemployed, have financial difficulties and have no idea how to handle their paperwork, medical issues, legal cases and so on. These centres are essential for meeting their information needs,” he added.

According to IOM Iraq’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), more than a million people were displaced from Mosul district due to the conflict with ISIL, which ended in the summer of 2017.

For more information on displacement across Iraq, visit the IOM Iraq DTM Portal: http://iraqdtm.iom.int

Click here to watch a video about the Community Information Centres.

For more information please contact Sandra Black in IOM Iraq, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: sblack@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 2, 2018 - 14:55Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

More than a million people were displaced from Mosul district due to the conflict with ISIL, which ended in the summer of 2017. Photo: Nima Tamaddon/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2018

After almost three years of being controlled by ISIL and a nine-month long battle to retake the city, the people of Mosul are struggling to access services. Photo: Nima Tamaddon/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2018

After almost three years of being controlled by ISIL and a nine-month long battle to retake the city, the people of Mosul are struggling to access services. Photo: Nima Tamaddon/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2018

To assist the residents of Mosul, IOM and partners have set up mobile Community Information Centres. Photo: Nima Tamaddon/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2018

The Community Information Centres are open to everyone and provide essential information and referrals. Photo: Nima Tamaddon/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

90 Migrants Reportedly Drown as Bodies Wash Up on Libyan Shores

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 08:04

Geneva – At least 90 migrants are reported to have drowned, when a boat capsized off the coast of Libya this morning (02/02). According to IOM Libya’s Olivia Headon, 10 bodies are reported to have washed up on Libyan shores – two Libyans and eight Pakistani nationals. Two survivors are reported to have swam to shore, while another was rescued by a fishing boat, Headon said. IOM is working to get more details of the tragedy and to see how best to assist survivors, she continued.

"According to IOM records, some 29 Libyans were rescued or intercepted in all of 2017, but we estimate the true figure to be much higher,” said Headon. 

In 2017, the 3,138 Pakistani migrants arriving by sea to Italy from Libya were 13th in the overall list of migrant arrivals (119,369). This year though, they already are the third highest nationality so far, with an estimated 240 reaching Italy in January. In comparison, only nine Pakistanis arrived in Italy by sea in January 2017. According to IOM’s Missing Migrants project (MMP), there were no confirmed deaths of Pakistani or Libyan nationals in the Mediterranean in 2017. In 2016, MMP recorded that 8 Pakistani nationals went missing in the Eastern Mediterranean in a shipwreck on 14 March 2016 near Kos, Greece. 

This latest tragedy comes as IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 6,624 migrants and refugees had entered Europe by sea through 28 January. This compares with 5,983 coming ashore during a similar period in 2017. Italy accounts for approximately 64 per cent of the total, with the remainder split between Spain (19 per cent) and Greece (16 per cent).

IOM Rome reported Thursday (01/02) that survivors of a shipwreck that occurred last weekend arrived Tuesday in Augusta, Sicily. According to testimony gathered by IOM staff at their landing point, the total number of victims may be between 32 and 37, in addition to at least three deaths confirmed from the incident.

IOM’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported the migrants left Zuwara, Libya, on Saturday at around midnight, on a dinghy carrying about 130–135 people. On Sunday morning their boat started to take on water. The ship Aquarius arrived in time to save 96 people, as well as to recover the remains of two passengers, both mothers who left children among the survivors.

Additional reporting by IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) indicates that even before the SOS Méditerranée’s vessel recovered those remains off the coast of Libya, 11 more migrants had already been evacuated to the nearest hospital – in Sfax, Tunisia – by an Italian Navy Helicopter. One of those 11, a woman, died upon arrival.

These casualties bring to 246 the total number of fatalities on the Mediterranean Sea through the first month of 2018. That compares with 254 at this time in 2017.

IOM Libya’s Olivia Headon reported that 252 migrants were returned to Libyan shores on Wednesday (31 January). Some 226 men, 19 women – four of them pregnant – and 7 children had been aboard two rubber dinghies headed for Europe, she explained.

“IOM provided food and water to the group when they were back on land and treated those in need of emergency medical assistance,” Headon added. “IOM will follow up on each individual case to see what further assistance and protection can be provided.”

Headon also reported that a separate group, this one consisting of 23 migrants, was being returned to Libya on Thursday (01/02) afternoon. One child was in the group, as well as two pregnant women, one of whom is likely to give birth in the coming days, said Headon.

The 246 deaths this month – the second deadliest on the Mediterranean since June 2017 – points to the randomness of danger along this busy migration corridor. The previous month (December 2017), when 23 deaths were recorded, was the least lethal of any recorded by IOM since January 2014, while the normally busy months of July, August, September and October last year all recorded fatalities below 200 each.

“Of course, there is no way to predict the number of deaths we record – almost all migrants who die in the Mediterranean are victims of chance,” said Julia Black, coordinator of IOM’s Missing Migrants Project, “but it is heart-breaking that so often dozens, sometimes hundreds of deaths occur in a single day. While the deaths of these migrants are unpredictable, there is an undeniable trend of tragedy in the Mediterranean.”

The Missing Migrants Project has recorded more than 3,000 migrant deaths in the Mediterranean each year since 2014. Black added that the 28 deaths recorded in January off Spain were the same number recorded in that region in January 2017. Not a single death was recorded in Greek waters so far this year, while only one was confirmed a year ago on that route (see chart below).

Casualties in the Eastern Mediterranean have dropped sharply along with the fall in arrivals. In the 22 months between April 2016 and January 2018 fatalities on the route have fallen to 6.75 per month, from 96.25 per month during the 12 months between April 2015 and March 2016.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded the deaths or disappearances of 396 people during migration through 31 January this year, compared with 545 through this date in 2017 (see chart below).

Among those fatalities confirmed during recent days were two children who drowned in the Indian Ocean after the boat in which they were travelling from Comoros Islands to the French island of Mayotte capsized on 22 January. One more child remains missing from that incident in which it was reported 11 survivors were rescued.

In Central America, one young man was found dead last Saturday (27/01). His remains were discovered alongside highway 150 between Orizaba and Tehuacán in near the border of the Mexican states of Veracruz and Puebla. Additionally, one death was recorded in Europe on 29 January: a young man was struck by a vehicle on the E40 motorway near Jabbeke, Belgium.

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

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic here
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: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel: +40212115657, Email: mmocanu@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Olivia Headon, IOM Libya, Tel: + +21651 084554 Email: oheadon@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel: +216 71 860 312 ext. 109, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 2, 2018 - 15:04Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Migration and Families Left Behind in Cambodia

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 07:55

Phnom Penh – In villages across rural Cambodia, where an estimated million adults have migrated to neighbouring Thailand, and as many as four million have migrated inside Cambodia to find work, grandparents usually stay behind to bring up their grandchildren.

The social cost to families “left behind” by migrant workers on the global stage is clearly considerable, but up to now has attracted very little research, according to IOM Global Migration Health and Epidemiology Coordinator Dr. Kol Wickramage.

“Labour migration has become a crucial engine for economic development for many countries worldwide. But while remittances sent home by migrant workers garner most attention in the ‘migration for development’ discourse, relatively little is known about the social and health impacts, for instance, on the health status of the children,” he said.

“We don’t know how separation from parents may affect children’s nutritional, behavioral and psychological development. Or whether internal or cross border migration is linked to the increased placement of children in residential care. Or how it may be changing the roles for primary care givers in the community,” he added.

The Cambodian government has now asked IOM, the UN Migration Agency, to implement a one-year research project to examine some of these issues in rural Cambodia.

The initiative was launched this week. Funded by the IOM Development Fund, the New Venture Fund and PLAN International, it will also be supported by the Louvain Corporation and the University of Hong Kong.

“The aim is to provide the government with an evidence base to inform policy interventions related to vulnerabilities and strengths related to migration and those left behind. It will also generate key data to inform child protection actors with an evidence base to trial and inform culturally appropriate interventions in the future,” said IOM programme manager Troy Dooley.

“We can see in Cambodia the positive impact of migration for the country via remittances and skills development. But to ensure any emerging strengths and vulnerabilities related to dynamic shifts in migration trends in Cambodia are well managed or addressed, we first need to collect the evidence to inform policy,” he added.

For more information please contact Troy Dooley at IOM Cambodia, Tel. +85512367498, Email: tdooley@iom.int. Or Dr. Kolitha Wickramage at the IOM Global Administrative Centre in Manila, Tel. +6391752 45474, Email: kwickramage@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 2, 2018 - 14:54Image: Region-Country: CambodiaThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

Cambodian children are often brought up by their grandmothers when their parents migrate in search of work. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Why Gaziantep Still Matters Seven Years After Start of Syrian Conflict

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 07:54

Gaziantep – Next month marks the seventh anniversary of the start of the war in Syria. Since the beginning, Turkey has been the main destination country for many of the 3.4 million Syrians seeking refuge and a better life. Over 1.5 million live along the border in south and south-eastern Turkey, with the highest concentration in the municipality of Gaziantep.

IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson travelled to this city of 1.9 million this week to see how it has coped over the years, meet with the Mayor, and visit IOM project sites. “We appreciate the efforts of the Government and people of Turkey to provide essential services for migrants and refugees,” said Ambassador Thompson. “Gaziantep is a successful example of a municipality improving migrants’ wellbeing and fostering social cohesion.”

Gaziantep’s Mayor Fatma Sahin has been a role model for developing policies that ensure integration remains a defining characteristic of the local environment. She was elected the first female mayor of Gaziantep in 2014 and, before that, the first female Member of Parliament from Gaziantep, and the first Minister of Family and Social Policy.

Recognizing the tremendous needs of the Syrian refugee community, Sahin and the Gaziantep Municipality initiated many programmes addressing issues such as social cohesion, employment, education, housing, health and municipal services for refugees and migrants.

The municipality opened the first school for Syrian students in Turkey in 2012, and in 2015 became the first municipality in the country to have its own Directorate of Migration Affairs. IOM Turkey has been a close partner of the Municipality, helping it to implement the projects that make these policies a reality.

The municipality has provided over 50,000 Syrians with free medical care, organized Turkish language and education classes for over 10,000 minors, and established industrial zones close to the border in which public-private ventures can employ Syrians. IOM joined these efforts, and works to create livelihoods opportunities for refugees and migrants, meet medical, housing, and transportation needs, and helps draw Syrians and local Turkish host communities closer together through community centres which run a variety of activities and events.

After her meeting with the Mayor, Ambassador Thompson visited Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality’s Ensar Community Centre which IOM has been supporting with funding from the Japanese Government since mid-2017. Ambassador Thompson met with young people and women of all ages engaged in a range of activities from mosaic-making to painting, cooking and sports (taekwondo, handball, basketball).

“The Gaziantep Municipality values IOM’s support of our initiatives such as the Ensar Community Center,” said Mayor Sahin. This support has played a crucial role in helping to develop our institutional capacity to effectively address migrants’ needs.”

As the conflict in Syria continues to displace civilians every day, Gaziantep remains an active host city. It also continues to be a crucial lifeline for humanitarian relief for civilians inside Syria, with agencies such as IOM running humanitarian operations from Gaziantep.

For more information please contact Lanna Walsh at IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 312 454 3048, Email: lwalsh@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 2, 2018 - 14:53Image: Region-Country: SyriaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Deputy Director General (right), Ambassador Laura Thompson, with Gaziantep’s Mayor Fatma Sahin. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2018

IOM Deputy Director General, Ambassador Laura Thompson, in front of the Ensar Community Centre. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2018

IOM Deputy Director General, Ambassador Laura Thompson, at the Ensar Community Centre taekwondo class. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2018

IOM Deputy Director General, Ambassador Laura Thompson, visiting a language class at the Ensar Community Centre. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Participates in Launch of Somalia Drought Response

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 07:52

Mogadishu – Since 2006, IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, has been providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to migrants and mobile populations in Somalia – including internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host community members. With its Head Office located in Mogadishu, IOM has a strong presence in all regions of Somalia through a multitude of projects implemented by 289 staff.

This week (30/01) IOM participated in a high-level event marking the release of the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), which seeks USD 1.5 billion to address the needs of 5.4 million Somalis. The Recovery and Resilience Framework (RRF) outlining the way forward for recovery and resilience was also presented.

The event was hosted by the Federal Government of Somalia and attended by senior dignitaries from the European Union, the United Nations and the World Bank. Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, in his opening remarks, reaffirmed his government’s commitment in moving Somalia from crisis to recovery.

The 2018 RRF is based on the Drought Impact Needs Assessment which analyses the root causes and impacts of recurrent droughts. It is developed in line with the priorities of the National Development and aligned with the 2018 HRP. The Framework recommends medium- to long-term options to finance and implement recovery interventions.

The RRF also defines policy measures required to support resilience and recovery as well as proposing institutional arrangements to manage, implement and monitor recovery.

These recommendations will be applied in parallel to and in complementarity with humanitarian relief.

The 2017 drought led to the displacement of more than 1 million Somalis, adding to the nearly 1.1 million previously displaced. Due to the commendable work by Somali authorities who led the drought response, the provision of nearly USD 1.3 billion by the international community, and the humanitarian actors who were on the ground to provide life-saving assistance, famine was averted. But now, one year later, continued delivery of urgent humanitarian relief is even more vital. The critical humanitarian needs require the international community to sustain its commitment.

“In 2018, IOM will continue to provide frontline emergency response in the sectors of Health, Water Sanitation and Hygiene, Shelter, Camp Coordination and Camp Management and displacement tracking, as well as multi-sectoral returns assistance to stranded Somali Nationals,” noted Dyane Epstein, IOM Somalia Chief of Mission. “As much as possible, IOM emergency teams will work with partners and the government to ensure that emergency response is integrated, timely and accountable.”

IOM’s Consolidated Appeal for Emergency Programming in Somalia was developed in line with the 2018 HRP, as well as the migration priorities of IOM, namely the special needs of internally displaced Somalis and returning populations.

IOM has seven IOM field offices as well as the Nairobi support office in Kenya. IOM has also scaled up its operations and capacities within Somalia in response to the recent drought and maintains a strong portfolio of multi-sector humanitarian interventions.

Download IOM Somalia’s Consolidated Appeal here

For more information, please contact: IOM Somalia Programme Support Unit at IOM Somalia, Tel: +251 715 990600, Email: iomsomaliapsu@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 2, 2018 - 14:51Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM has scaled up its operations and capacities within Somalia in response to the recent drought and maintains a strong portfolio of multi-sector humanitarian interventions. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 

IOM has scaled up its operations and capacities within Somalia in response to the recent drought and maintains a strong portfolio of multi-sector humanitarian interventions. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Japan, IOM Open Health Centre in DRC's Kongo Central Province

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 07:50

Kinshasa – The burden of repeated outbreaks of infectious diseases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – such as Ebola, yellow fever and cholera – are major public health problems for the Congolese people and a threat to regional health security.

With a focus on prevention, Japan’s Ambassador to the DRC in collaboration with IOM, the UN Migration Agency, inaugurated a new health centre (30/01) built in Lufu, Kongo Central province on the border between DRC and Angola.

The structure – built with support from the Government of Japan for USD 525,000 – will enhance the capacity of the Ministry of Health to prevent, detect, and respond to epidemics and other public health emergencies in the border space. This achievement is

part of the support that the Government of Japan and IOM provide to the DRC in order to comply with the standards of the International Health Regulation (2005).

Indeed, the DRC shares more than 10,000 km of border with nine countries where large volumes of migration flows are observed, factors which contribute significantly to each country’s risk of cross-border transmission of disease.

In his address, Ambassador of Japan to the DRC Hiroshi Karube stressed the importance of 'strengthening the health system' at the 'border' level by referring to the recent outbreaks of yellow fever and cholera that have spread between DRC and Angola. With this in mind, Japan reiterated its commitment to supporting local initiatives supporting national efforts in the field of health.

"Japan remains a privileged partner of IOM, particularly on migration issues and dealing with health issues in border areas," said IOM DRC’s Mamadou Ngom.

A representative of the National Ministry of Public Health warmly thanked the Government of Japan for supporting the building of this health centre in the border area with Angola, which will contribute to the primary health of the people as well as to the fight against the spread of infectious diseases.

They also reminded those gathered that this first medical centre on the border aims to "ensure the application of the International Health Regulations but also the care of populations regardless of race and ethnicity."

In July 2016, the Government of Japan, through several institutions including IOM, extended emergency aid amounting to 3.5million US dollars for the DRC and Angola to fight against the yellow fever epidemic. This health centre reinforces Japan's commitment to the fight against the spread of transboundary infectious diseases.

For more information please contact IOM DRC, Aki Yoshino, Tel: +243 829 715 652, Email: ayoshino@iom.int or Mamadou Ngom, Tel: +243 815 087 980, Email: mngom@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 2, 2018 - 14:48Image: Region-Country: Democratic Republic of the CongoDefault: Multimedia: 

The health centre will enhance the capacity of the Ministry of Health to prevent, detect and respond to epidemics. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2018

The health centre will enhance the capacity of the Ministry of Health to prevent, detect and respond to epidemics. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Border Pass Management System Facilitates Cambodian-Thai Border Crossing

Tue, 01/30/2018 - 09:06

Battambang Province – Cambodia’s General Department of Immigration has launched a new border pass management system at the Doung International Border Control Post, in Battambang province on the Cambodian–Thai border. The system will use software developed by IOM, the UN Migration Agency.

The Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) has been installed, with financial support from Canada, to allow Cambodia to more effectively manage cross-border movements of local residents and migrant workers traveling with border passes.

Expediting border procedures is an important element of economic cooperation between the two countries. People using border passes need to be quickly and accurately identified and registered, within the mixed flow of migrants moving back and forth across the border. This calls for a cost-efficient solution that balances security with facilitation.

MIDAS is a powerful border management information system that processes and records all information about border pass travellers, including their biographical data and facial images. It also provides a systematic registration of all entries and exits, allowing for analysis of statistics and trends to inform evidence-based migration policies.

“MIDAS answers a real need,” said General Sok Phal, Cambodia’s Director of Immigration. “It allows for more effective border management of local Cambodian border residents entering and leaving Cambodian territory, while providing a solid statistical basis for migration policies and strategies.”

The new system can also register minors (in Cambodia, this is any person under the age of 12) travelling with a legal parent or guardian. Photos and birth certificates are captured and stored in a database, which allows immigration officers at the border to verify the identity of both the adults and the children travelling with them. This offers protection against child trafficking and identity fraud when issuing border passes.

“The system, which was installed in November and now processes on average 1,000 crossings a day, is already demonstrating significant potential to provide Cambodian immigration and provincial authorities with an overview of border pass movements,” said IOM project manager Brett Dickson. “Feedback from frontline immigration officers is also positive, showing that it makes identity checks and processing of border pass travellers easier and faster.”

“We hope MIDAS will help to optimize Cambodian border control posts and border operations for effective border management, and promote orderly cross-border migration,” added IOM Cambodia Chief of Mission Dr. Leul Mekonnen. “It should also help to reduce irregular migration by facilitating and expediting regular movements, ultimately helping to ensure the safer movement of migrant workers and border residents.”

Currently, MIDAS is only installed in Battambang Province on a pilot basis. The Cambodian Government and General Department of Immigration have asked for the system to be scaled up and extended to five other border control posts along the Cambodian-Thai border.

For more information please contact Brett Dickson, IOM Cambodia; Tel: +855 12 222 132, Email: bdickson@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - 14:02Image: Region-Country: CambodiaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM hands over new border pass management system to Cambodia. Photo: Chhaya  Chhin / UN Migration Agency 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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