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Updated: 2 hours 50 min ago

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 71,779 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,565

Fri, 09/07/2018 - 09:40

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 71,779 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 5 September, with 31,040 to Spain, the leading destination this year. This compares with 125,613 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 289,681 through a similar point (6 September) in 2016.

Spain, with over 43 per cent of all irregular arrivals on the Mediterranean through this year, has outpaced Greece and Italy throughout the summer. Italy’s arrivals to date – 20,250 – are the lowest recorded by IOM since 2014, lower in fact, than arrivals recorded by Italian authorities during many individual months over the past five years. The same can be said for Greece, whose totals for irregular migrant arrivals through the first week of September this year (19,564) are nearly identical to those of Italy (see chart below).

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Thursday that 31,040 irregular migrants have arrived by sea this year via the Western Mediterranean, of those 8,109 arriving in the 36 days since the start of August, a rate of 225 per day.

Additionally, at least 4,575 migrants have arrived irregularly in the region by land (see chart below).

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has documented the deaths of 1,565 people on the Mediterranean in 2018. Most recently 16 people lost their lives in three separate shipwrecks in the Western Mediterranean.

On 3 September, Salvamento Marítimo, the Spanish maritime safety agency, rescued 30 migrants from a half-sunken boat in the Alboran Sea between Morocco and Spain. According to survivors’ testimonies, collected by Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras, five people drowned before they were rescued. Their bodies could not be recovered.

On 5 September, 53 survivors and the remains of four men and one woman were recovered from a sinking boat, 62 miles south of Alboran Island, and brought to the Port of Motril, Granada. On the same day, Caminando Fronteras reported that six people were lost at sea in a separate shipwreck, as reported by 52 survivors rescued by Salvamento Marítimo.

Since the beginning of the year, 329 people have lost their lives in the Western Mediterranean. That compares with 224 fatalities recorded in the Western Mediterranean through all of 2017.

On Thursday, IOM Athens’ Christine Nikolaidou reported that over seven days (29 August–04 September) since last week Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) units managed at least three incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Samos and Kos. The HCG rescued a total 131 migrants and transferred them to those respective islands.

Additional arrivals of 665 migrants during those days to Samos and Kos – as well as to Lesvos, Chios, Rhodes and Megisti – bring to 19,564 the total number of irregular arrivals to Greece by sea in 2018. In addition, some 11,050 land arrivals have been recorded on the Eastern Mediterranean through the end of July, and an unknown number since 1 August (see charts below).

 

 

 

 

IOM’s Marta Sanchez reported Thursday that IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 2,546 people during migration to international destinations in 2018 (see chart below).

Globally, IOM estimates that more than 28,000 migrants have died since 2014.

In addition to the recent Mediterranean drownings mentioned above, MMP reported that in the Gulf of Aden, 33 people lost their lives on 29 August when they were trying to reach Yemen by boat. Smugglers operating two overcrowded boats forced nearly 360 Somali and Ethiopian migrants into the sea as they approached the coast of Shabwa, a Yemeni Governorate along the Arabian Sea.  At least 27 Ethiopian nationals (20 men and seven women) and six Somali nationals (four women and two men) drowned during the forced disembarkation.

An estimated 156 migrants have been known to die or go missing while crossing the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea to the shores of Yemen between 1 January and 1 September 2018.

Along the border between the United States and Mexico, the harsh conditions of the arduous desert trek and the dangers of crossing the Río Bravo lead to hundreds of deaths each year.  Between January and September 2018, Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 281 migrants along the border.

In their efforts to go north, migrants often must circumvent Border Patrol interior checkpoints. It is during these treks through heavy brush that many migrant deaths occur.

Most recently, a 30-year-old Mexican man died of dehydration in Brooks County, Texas. His body was found on 27 August on a ranch west of Falfurrias on US Highway 285. On 29 August, US Border Patrol agents found the remains of a man of unknown identity on a ranch near a USBP checkpoint in Highway 83, in Webb County, Texas.  On 30 August, the remains of a 36-year-old man of Mexican nationality were recovered from the banks of the Río Bravo in Eagle Pass, Texas. One day later, another man was reported drowned in the Río Bravo. His body was recovered on 31 August near Harlingen, Texas.

US Border Patrol agents recovered skeletal remains from a ranch near Armstrong, Texas on 2 September.

In Southeast Asia, one migrant worker from Myanmar died and 12 were injured when the bus in which they were travelling crashed near Thailand’s border town of Mae Sot.

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

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: 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
Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 248, Email: cnikolaidou@iom.int

Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@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, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05 or Tel: +216 71 860 312 (Ext 109), Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 7, 2018 - 15:50Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Korea Trains Korean Humanitarian Workers on Data Analysis and Management in Emergencies

Fri, 09/07/2018 - 09:35

Seoul – A two-day data analysis and management training took place this week (6-7/09), organized by IOM Republic of Korea (ROK). Thirty-one humanitarian practitioners from related government agencies and non-governmental organizations were trained to effectively utilize data in humanitarian work.

The training sought to equip Korean aid workers with the knowledge and technical skills needed to design and implement humanitarian projects. It introduced humanitarian data management systems and tools widely used by the international humanitarian community and provided IOM expertise for practical application in humanitarian response. The training was held at an opportune time, as more humanitarian workers from the ROK are increasingly being deployed to respond to emergencies overseas.

Led by Andrew Lind, the Regional Emergency and Post-Crisis Specialist from the IOM Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) in Bangkok, the first day’s session focused on data gathering methodologies, analytical techniques and various information sources through which aid workers can have access to actionable humanitarian data including population figures, mobility tracking, needs and vulnerabilities. 

“In humanitarian crises, oftentimes the information we have is limited and unreliable. However, information management allows us to make the most use of data, gather useful information and close gaps in our knowledge,” Lind highlighted. 

IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), which captures and monitors population movements, was introduced as an accessible and reliable data resource for different phases of humanitarian response.

Vivianne Van Der Vorst, global DTM Project Coordinator in ROAP, enhanced the participants’ basic understanding of the DTM by illustrating its components, workflow and application.

"By working with actual DTM data, participants can learn about challenges that they might face when they collect and analyse data in emergencies. I hope that this training provides them practical information management skills to respond to the real needs of the affected population,” said Van Der Vorst.

On the second day, participants actively engaged in a series of group exercises to apply their knowledge gained from the training. IOM also presented the pilot version of Injiin, an online humanitarian knowledge platform designed mainly for Korean humanitarian stakeholders. It aims to provide core, up-to-date resources to ensure that their emergency projects and related activities adhere to international humanitarian principles and standards.

The Injiin demonstration was followed up by survey questionnaires; consolidated responses will be considered when fine-tuning the platform before its official launch by the end of this year.

“Accurate and regular data is the foundation for a fact-based action,” said Miah Park, IOM ROK Head of Office. “In light of this, the training organized by IOM strengthened Korean humanitarians’ capacity in data management to provide a well-informed humanitarian response in a timely manner.”

Funded by the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), IOM ROK has implemented various capacity-building trainings for Korean humanitarian actors, including a couple of Safe and Secure Approach in Field Environments (SSAFE) trainings, and a Protection Portfolio in Crisis workshop.

Information about the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) is available here:  https://www.globaldtm.info/

For more information please contact IOM ROK:  Miah Park, Tel: +82 70 4820 2781, Email: mipark@iom.int or
Jumi Kim, Tel: +82 (0)70 4820 0292, Email: jukim@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 7, 2018 - 15:40Image: Region-Country: Republic of KoreaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Divided into six groups (Shelter, WASH, Child Protection, Education, Health and Food) participants discussed what information is needed to assist the affected population. Photo: IOM

Divided into six groups (Shelter, WASH, Child Protection, Education, Health and Food) participants discussed what information is needed to assist the affected population. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM to Support Implementation of Summits of the Americas Mandates

Fri, 09/07/2018 - 09:35

Washington DC – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, joined the Organization of American States (OAS) and nine international institutions of the Joint Summit Working Group (JSWG) to support the implementation and follow-up of the mandates of the Summits of the Americas.

At a signing ceremony held yesterday (04/09) at OAS Headquarters in Washington DC, IOM and the JSWG member organizations reaffirmed their commitment to put forth and consider the most salient issues facing the Americas.

At the First Summit of the Americas, held in 1994, several organizations met to discuss the importance of fostering inter-American trust and cooperation between states and institutions. In that first meeting and in subsequent summits, leaders discussed common policy issues, goals and shared concerns about the most significant issues taking place in the Americas. Key sectors considered include education, health, energy, environment, migration, security, citizen participation, democratic governance and hemispheric partnership for development.

At the Eighth Summit of the Americas held in Lima, Peru, in April 2018, there was a renewed focus on tackling corruption. Article 51 of the Lima Commitment calls upon the JSWG to provide resources and technical capacity-building to address corruption, including acts related to trafficking in persons and smuggling. Since migrants are especially vulnerable to trafficking, exploitation and other abuses during their journey, bolstering transparency and strengthening accountability mechanisms is necessary to ensure migration is orderly and safe.

As corruption is a cross-cutting issue that directly and indirectly impacts migrants, IOM is in a unique position to share technical support with the JSWG and OAS concerning human trafficking – the world’s fastest growing crime. One potential outcome of exchanging information and best practices is that organizations will be better equipped to fight such corruption and promote democratic governance.

“IOM’s participation is indicative of our continued commitment towards advancing common goals of the Americas, one of which is combating corruption,” said Luca Dall’Oglio, IOM Chief of Mission in Washington. “IOM’s expertise on issues such as trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling are particularly relevant. Initiatives to build the capacity of investigators, prosecutors, judges and other government agencies are essential to reducing corruption.”

The memorandum of understanding signed this week focuses on increasing technical coordination and information sharing to more effectively pursue the mandates of the Summits. IOM remains deeply committed to the goals of the Summits and will uphold its commitment to combating corruption in the region. 

In addition to OAS and IOM, the other signatories include the Inter-American Development Bank, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Pan American Health Organization, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Inter American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, Central American Bank for Economic Integration, Corporación Andina de Fomento, International Labour Organization and the United Nations Development Programme.

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

Language English Posted: Friday, September 7, 2018 - 15:35Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Migration PolicyDefault: Multimedia: 

From left: Ana Rosa Valdivieso, Permanent Representative of Peru to the OAS and current Chair of the Summit Process; Luis Almagro, OAS Secretary General and Luca Dall’Oglio, IOM Chief of Mission in Washington signing the MoU. Photo: IOM / Elizabeth Lizama

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Holds National Workshop on Area Assessment in Yemen

Fri, 09/07/2018 - 09:30

Sana’a – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, held a national workshop in Sana’a this week (3-4/09) on area assessment in Yemen. IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) will be used for area assessments to help humanitarian and recovery actors develop programming and understand the numbers and needs of internally displaced persons, returnees and migrants.

The workshop was organized in collaboration with the National Authority for the Management and Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Recovery (NAMCHA). It brought together 173 IOM and NAMCHA data focal points and enumerators from 14 governorates.

IOM technical experts made presentations to sensitize participants about IOM’s global DTM principles and practices, ongoing area assessment works in Yemen, and various lessons learned from previous experiences. The participants were then provided hands-on training on relevant data collection tools, procedures, technologies, and best practices. The training will help to ensure best practices in data collection are maintained.

“This is the first time the area assessment will cover almost 20,000 locations, at the sub-district level,” said Simone Holladay, IOM Yemen DTM Coordinator. “It will be completed in all 22 governorates of Yemen, in close collaboration with national authorities.”

For more information, please contact IOM Yemen: Saba Malme, Tel: + 967 736 800 329, Email: smalme@iom.int or Programme Support Unit, Email: IOMyemenPSU@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 7, 2018 - 15:30Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Timor-Leste to Develop First Migration Profile with IOM Support

Fri, 09/07/2018 - 09:29

Dili –  The Government of Timor-Leste, supported by the IOM Development Fund (IDF) will begin the development of a Migration Profile which will facilitate the identification of key migration issues and opportunities.

This week (04/09), the first Inter-Ministerial Technical Working Group (TWG) comprised of representatives from several line ministries including the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Justice was convened in Dili. 

An initiative led by the Office of the Prime-Minister of Timor-Leste in collaboration with key ministries and stakeholders working on migration and mobility, the TWG will enhance a whole government approach in addressing and establishing a strong foundation for good migration governance. This will contribute towards the increased recognition of migration and mobility which is part of inclusive growth and promote sustainable development in Timor-Leste.

Speaking at the TWG meeting, Dr Nenette Motus, IOM Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific said, “Working towards good migration governance in Timor-Leste requires a cross-sectoral approach that starts with evidence-based data for planning and policy-making.”

The participation of line ministries in this process will be central to the success of the migration profile as a practical document addressing all aspects of migration in Timor-Leste.

Alfonso Corte Real, Chief of Staff in the Prime Minister’s Office said, “The Migration Profile TWG will be key in the development of a common vision for the migration management in the country, by defining overall goals and an action plan, and adapting the migration profile to suit our national needs.”

The development of a Migration Profile falls within the Government of Timor-Leste’s migration and youth development objectives and is of relevance to the strategic and policy goals outlined in the Timor-Leste Strategic Development Plan 2011-2030 and Timor-Leste’s Roadmap for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

IOM has been working in Timor-Leste since 1999 and has been a close partner of the Government of Timor-Leste since independence in 2002. More recently, IOM has supported the government in preparations for the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) process and provided technical assistance to the Inter-Ministerial Anti-trafficking Technical Working Group on the Bali process.

The development of Migration Profile for Timor-Leste and establishment of the TWG comes at a time when international migration has become one of the key defining features of national policy agendas.

With the establishment of this TWG, Timor-Leste will have improved access to reliable and timely information and data that will strengthen national programming, planning and policymaking in migration and development. Once the final document is complete, Timor-Leste will join over 80 countries that have carried out migration profiles with a methodology designed by IOM.

For more information please contact Wonesai Workington Sithole, Chief of Mission at IOM Timor-Leste, Tel +670 331 3038l Email: wsithole@iom.int ; or alternatively contact Cecilia McIntosh at IOM Timor-Leste, Tel +670 331 3038, Email: cmcintosh@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 7, 2018 - 15:25Image: Region-Country: Timor LesteThemes: Migration PolicyDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific Dr Nenette Motus (3rd from left, front row), and IOM Timor-Leste Chief of Mission Wonesai Workington Sithole (6th from right), with Inter-Ministerial Technical Working Group participants in Dili. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Central and North American Countries Discuss Labour Migration Governance

Fri, 09/07/2018 - 09:28

Mexico City – Member countries of the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM) this week (4-5/09) discussed the challenges posed by growing labour migration dynamics in the Americas, at the Regional Workshop on the Governance of Labour Migration: Towards Integrated and Planned Policies.

Hosted by the Government of Mexico and supported by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), the meeting was attended by representatives of chancelleries, immigration authorities, ministries of labour, employer and union sectors and civil society.

Over 25 million nationals in the Americas live outside their country of origin; however, more than 80 per cent of migrants remain within the region. The region faces a triple challenge: the integration of new and diverse profiles of immigrant workers in its labour market, added to the traditional intra-regional movements; the lack or scarcity of qualified human resources; and the reintegration of their own returned nationals.

The event tackled these challenges, pushing for renewed, comprehensive and strategically planned migratory and labour policies at the national, bilateral and regional levels, based on an adequate analysis of national and regional labour markets. Such policies would have to be accompanied by adequate administrative systems to facilitate, regulate and manage the movements of migrant workers in an agile manner.

“Mexico recognizes the vital importance of migrants and what they represent for the economy and for the development of a country, both those of our nationals who migrate, as well as those who come to our country in search of job opportunities,” said Ambassador Miguel Díaz Reynoso, General Director for Latin America at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico. “Because of this, Mexico has worked and cooperated to promote both bilateral and multilateral agreements that ensure absolute respect for the human rights of all people who migrate, as well as to encourage regular labour migration.”

“The involvement of all RCM countries in the appropriate planning of labour migration policies is paramount,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America and the Caribbean. “This means creating labour migration options that favour not only the attainment of a job but also the integration of migrants to the communities in the countries of destination and reintegration when they return to their country of origin.”

Francesco Carella, ILO Labour Migration Specialist said, “International conventions on migrant workers, such as ILO 97 and 143, help states to govern labour migration more effectively. But there are also other instruments that are not binding, and that can strengthen the formulation of labour migration policies, such as the Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration, the Principles of Fair Contracting and the Principles on Refugee Access to Labour Markets.”

The 60 participants highlighted the inter-institutional cooperation, which also involves the employer sector, trade unions, international organizations and civil society.

“This regional exchange is a space that has allowed us to know how the countries of the region collect information on labour migration flows, with a view to promoting good governance of labour migration and facilitate the development of comprehensive and inclusive policies,” said Pablo Rusconi Trigueros, Director of Immigration Department, Republic of El Salvador.

The meeting was co-organized by IOM, through the Mesoamerica Program, funded by the US of State Department and by ILO.

For more information, please contact Alexandra Bonnie, IOM San Jose, Tel:  +506 2212 5304, Email: abonnie@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 7, 2018 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: MexicoThemes: Migration PolicyDefault: Multimedia: 

Some of the key speakers at the RCM Labour Migration workshop in Mexico City. Photo: IOM /Cesia Chavarria

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Iraq Displacement Figures Drop Below Two Million for First Time Since 2014; Nearly Four Million Have Returned Home

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 09:08

Erbil – For the first time in nearly four years, the number of displaced Iraqis has fallen below two million, according to a milestone IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) report released today (04/09).

Data collected by IOM staff for the 100th DTM report, concluded that 1,931,868 people remain displaced, the lowest figure since November 2014. Round 100 also reported that nearly four million people have returned home. Publication of this data is significant for IOM, the UN Migration Agency, as it marks more than four years of tracking displacement in Iraq.

Since January 2014, Iraq’s war against ISIL has caused the displacement of six million Iraqis – around 15 per cent of the entire population of the country. In December 2017, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the end of the country’s war against ISIL.  

Across Iraq, IDPs continue to return home at a steady though slower pace than in 2017. The governorates with the greatest number of returnees are Ninewa (1.49 million), Anbar (1.27 million), Salah al-Din (nearly 553,000), Kirkuk (296,000), Diyala (222,000) and Baghdad (77,000).

Virtually all (97 per cent) have returned to their habitual residences, two per cent to private settings, while one per cent (19,000 individuals) remain highly vulnerable having sought shelter in religious buildings, schools and unfinished or abandoned buildings.

The remaining IDPs are concentrated in: Ninewa (602,000), Dahuk (349,000), Erbil (217,000), Salah al-Din (169,000), Sulaymaniyah (151,000) and Kirkuk (124,000). Of those who continue to be displaced, 1.2 million are in private settings, 574,000 are in camps, and 176,000 are in critical shelters.

According to latest DTM data, returnees cited the improved security situation, availability of housing, lack of financial means to remain in displacement, the encouragement of community leaders and support from friends and relatives as factors in their decision to return.

Obstacles to return shared by families who are still in displacement include damage or destruction of housing and infrastructure, lack of financial means and job opportunities, and security concerns.

“IOM DTM data has documented the phases of the crisis and has been critical for planning humanitarian assistance,” said Marta Ruedas, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq. “Data on returns is also essential for this next phase of our support for recovery and reintegration.”

IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Gerard Waite said: “DTM makes an important contribution to humanitarian efforts in Iraq by informing the direction of resources to displaced and returnee populations. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi families continue to be displaced and face significant obstacles to return. Both displaced and returnee populations are often vulnerable and need humanitarian assistance to regain their livelihoods and support their families.”

The DTM is IOM’s information management system to track and monitor population displacement during crises. Since early 2014 IOM Iraq has been producing data sets, monthly reports and thematic reports, including on the Mosul crisis, obstacles to return, location assessments and emergency tracking. This information is shared publicly to inform humanitarian efforts. 

The IOM Iraq DTM is supported the US Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). 

DTM round 100 can be downloaded at:
http://iraqdtm.iom.int/LastDTMRound/Round100_Report_English_2018_July_31_IOM_DTM.pdf

IOM Iraq DTM portal address is: http://iraqdtm.iom.int  

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 4, 2018 - 15:01Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Ali in West Mosul was trapped in rubble under his house when it collapsed during the conflict. He poses for a photo after his return in June 2018. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 68.098 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,549

Fri, 08/31/2018 - 09:03

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 68.098 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 29 August, with 28,579 to Spain, the leading destination this year. This compares with 124,015 (172,362 for the entire year) arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

Spain, with 42 per cent of all arrivals to date, continues to receive seaborne migrants in August at a volume more than twice that of Greece and more than six times that of Italy. Italy’s arrivals through late August are the lowest recorded at this point of a normally busy summer sailing season in almost five years (see chart below).

 

Mediterranean Developments 

ITALY

According to official MOI figures, 19,874 migrants arrived by sea to Italy this year, 79,95% less than last year in the same period.

 

  • Libya remains the principal country of departure.
  • Rescue operations: migrants are all rescued in the Channel of Sicily and then brought to Sicily (main ports: Catania, Augusta, Porto Empedocle, Pozzallo, Trapani, Palermo, Lampedusa).
  • IOM Staff are deployed at the main landing points in Sicily (including Lampedusa), Calabria and Apulia where they provide legal assistance to those arriving by sea, monitor the reception conditions and support the authorities in the identification of vulnerable groups. 
 

SPAIN
IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 28,579 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 29 August (see chart below).

*The figures include 630 individuals rescued by the Aquarius ship (Disembarkation: 17 June, at the Port of Valencia) and other 87 individuals rescued by Open Arms (Disembarkation: Port of Algeciras, 9 August 2018)

She also reported that Salvamento Maritimo and Pro Activa open Arms, both announced vía their Twitter accounts that they will begin to collaborate in rescue operations in the Alboran Sea and The Strait Of Gibraltar. The NGOs will work under the guidance and in coordination with Salvamento Maritimo.

IOM notes that over this year’s first five months, a total of 8,150 men, women and children were rescued in Spanish waters after leaving Africa – an average of 54 per day. Since 31 May, a total of 20,429 migrants have arrived – or just under 227 migrants per day.

The months of May-August this year have seen a total of 23,952 irregular migrants arriving by sea, the busiest four-month period for Spain since IOM began tallying arrival statistics.

 

GREECE

On Thursday, IOM Athens’ Antigoni Avgeropoulou reported that from Tuesday 28 August, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) was involved in at least two (2) incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Samos and Kos. The HCG rescued a total 55 migrants and transferred them to the respective islands.

IOM Staff is present in Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Leros, Kos and Crete Island while is working closely with authorities (Frontex, the Hellenic Coastguards and the First Reception Service) to identify vulnerable migrants including unaccompanied minors, elderly migrants, migrants with medical needs and families with children.  Vulnerable groups are referred to authorities in order to be provided with the necessary care.

Arrivals by sea

MISSING MIGRANTS PROJECT

IOM’s Marta Sanchez reported on Thursday that IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 2,488 people migrating to international destinations in 2018.
In the Mediterranean, 1,549 people have lost their lives since the beginning of the year. Most recently, the remains of a man were recovered near Kerkennah, Tunisia on 27 August. He is believed to have died in a shipwreck that took place on 20 August off the coast of Djerba. The current death toll from that shipwreck stands at nine, with one survivor rescued by the Tunisian National Guard.
On the US-Mexico border, at least five people have died since 24 August. US Border Patrol agents recovered the remains of an individual near La Grulla, Texas on 24 August. On 26 August, the remains of another person were found in a ranch near Freer, in Webb County.
The dangerous crossing of the border into Texas claimed the life of another man on 28 August, whose body was recovered near Hebbronville. On the same day, the remains of two other men were retrieved from a canal in El Paso’s Lower Valley.
This year, 276 migrant deaths have been recovered on either side of the border, up from 244 in the equivalent period of 2017. Their identification is a very difficult task, as many remains are not discovered until long after their death.
Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrants deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.

 

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: 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
Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 248, Email: cnikolaidou@iom.int
Antigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel: + +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 166, Email: avgeropoulou@iom.int

Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@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, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Email: mchabbi@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, August 31, 2018 - 15:10Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Nigerian Returnees Learn the Ropes of Business Development at Home

Fri, 08/31/2018 - 09:03

Lagos – “Before I travelled to Libya, I was into phone sales and repairs and palm oil production, but I left my business to migrate due to challenges like power outages,” said Onyekachi as she stood in a room full of fellow returnees. “With this training, my dream will come true because I have been grouped into an agriculture-based business.”

Onyekachi is one of 273 Nigerians returning from Libya who are attending a business skills training this week in Lagos (27-31 August), as part of their reintegration assistance organized by IOM, the UN Migration Agency. The training on Business Skills and Cooperatives for Returned Migrants is the 21st event held in Nigeria targeting returnees who wish to start businesses in their communities of origin.

Since April 2017, 2,051 Nigerian returnees (1,130 male and 921 female) have participated in business trainings in Lagos, Edo, Nassarawa, Kano and Kaduna States, where they learn about the types of businesses they intend to launch, whether individually or in groups.

In addition to collective reintegration schemes, other returnees will be supported under community-based projects, such as fruit juice, palm oil, palm kernel and plantain processing factories in Edo and Delta States — where most assisted returnees originate from. These projects are intended to benefit not only the individual returnees but also their communities of origin.

“The training is now focused on having more sustainable businesses and not just regular trading, buying and selling. We are concentrated more on agriculture-related businesses because they are more sustainable and will add more value to the returnees’ communities,” said lead trainer Osita Osemene after the first day of activities. “We also have stories of returnees like Anita from Benin City, who has started her palm oil produce business under the individual reintegration scheme, and another group of returnees who started a fish farming business,” she added.

Technical sessions focused on entrepreneurship, bookkeeping, supply chain management, as well as recommendations to develop a business idea. Returnees also attended sessions on ‘mindset reset’, where they had the opportunity to share experiences about their journeys abroad. “I travelled on 26 May 2017 and paid a total sum of 500,000 Naira (approximately USD 1,400) from proceeds of my fish business in Benin City. I wanted to travel to Italy but was arrested at sea, spent a month and one week in prison and was assisted to return back to Nigeria in June 2018,” said a participant named Blessing during one such session. “Now because of the training I know that I have hope again.”

This training was organized under a joint initiative funded by the EU and implemented by IOM in collaboration with the Government of Nigeria, which offers in-kind reintegration assistance to help some returning migrants start their businesses. Some of the businesses already in motion include poultry farms, beauty salons and grocery shops. Reintegration assistance may also comprise medical treatment, education support and job placement.

Following this training IOM, in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), will organize a job fair at the end of September where returnees will have the opportunity to meet private sector leaders in Nigeria and search for job opportunities to match their skills.

The EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration is a three-year programme that has helped close to 10,000 Nigerian women, men and children return home voluntarily from countries such as Libya. The EU-IOM Joint Initiative, funded by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, covers and has been set up in close cooperation with a total of 26 African countries, including 13 across West and Central Africa.

For more information please contact IOM Nigeria:
Jorge Galindo, Tel: +234 906 273 9168, Email: jgalindo@iom.int
Abrahm Tamrat, Tel: +234 906 228 4580, Email: tabrahm@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 31, 2018 - 15:05Image: Region-Country: NigeriaDefault: Multimedia: 

Over 2,000 Nigerian returnees have attended business training as part of reintegration assistance in five states. Photo: IOM 2018

Returnees embark on a timber supply collective reintegration project in Benin City. Photo: IOM 2018

Returnees embark on a timber supply collective reintegration project in Benin City. Photo: IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Holds Regional Workshop on Migration and the Sustainable Development Goals in Panama

Fri, 08/31/2018 - 09:03

Panama City – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, held a regional workshop in Panama this week (28-29/08) on the importance of migration as a cross-cutting issue for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The event was organized together with the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM) and with the collaboration of UN system partners such as UNDP, UNHCR, UNFPA, ILO, and ECLAC.

It brought together migration and foreign relations authorities, and institutions leading the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, from countries in Central America, North America, and the Caribbean. Thematic experts from agencies of the United Nations System made presentations to sensitize officials about the Agenda and its relationship with migration. Also, the participants worked on some lines of action to be proposed soon to high-level officials of the RCM countries.

The Vice Minister of Foreign Relations of Panama, Nicole Wong, mentioned that one of the main findings of this workshop was “the importance of prioritizing the issue of migration in the national development plans so that the statistics respond to the needs of migration governance.”

Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America, and the Caribbean, stressed: “The 2030 Agenda makes explicit the need for migration policies based on human rights and good governance of migration dynamics. It also recognizes the direct and positive impact that migration has on the economic and social development of communities.”

Pisani also added that projects developed by IOM are aligned with the 2030 Agenda, to help governments achieve the objectives to which they have committed.

The workshop was held within the framework of the project: Support to Countries in the Implementation of the SDGs Related to Migration Governance which is implemented by the IOM office in Panama and financed by the IOM Development Fund.

For more information please contact Jorge Gallo at IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 2212-5352, Email: jgallo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 31, 2018 - 14:59Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaDefault: Multimedia: 

The event brought together migration and foreign relations authorities, and institutions leading the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, from countries in Central America, North America and the Caribbean. Photo: RCM/2018

"The 2030 Agenda makes explicit the need for migration policies based on human rights and good governance of migration dynamics” - Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America, and the Caribbean. Photo: RCM/2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM and Humanitarian Actors Respond to Needs in Tripoli

Thu, 08/30/2018 - 19:03

Tripoli – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has responded to the urgent humanitarian needs of hundreds of displaced Libyans and migrants affected by violence, following armed clashes in the Libyan capital.

Early Monday morning (27/08) heavy clashes erupted between armed groups in Tripoli, causing THE displacement of civilians AND migrants in the affected area. Despite the security constraints, on 28 August IOM, Libyan and Malian authorities were able to ensure the safe transport of 118 men, 22 women, 16 children, two infants and eight medical cases to Mitiga airport for their further safe return home to Mali.

Prior to departure the migrants received non-food items and health and protection assistance as part of IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return Assistance. Unfortunately, an additional 30 migrants scheduled to depart were unable to reach the airport due to security constraints. IOM is following up to ensure their return as soon as possible.

“We are coordinating closely with the Libyan authorities and our humanitarian counterparts to ensure assistance reaches all those in need,” said Othman Belbeisi, IOM Libya Chief of Mission. “Our priority is the safety and well-being of civilians affected by the violence.”

The current security situation forced families to flee for safety. As part of its humanitarian response IOM provided mattresses, blankets and hygiene kits to displaced Libyan families who were able to seek shelter in a school in Tripoli. The humanitarian situation and needs of these families are being assessed by IOM.

At the same time, migrants at the Ain Zara and Salaheddin detention centres in the affected area were evacuated by the Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM) to safer centres with the support of humanitarian actors.

As part of a joint humanitarian response coordinated between the UN agencies and international organizations, UNHCR distributed core-relief items including 500 blankets in Abu Slim detention centre, while IOM provided mattresses, food and beverages to more than 400 migrants, including 322 evacuated from other unsafe locations. MSF teams are conducting medical consultations, as well as providing food, water and nutritional supplements to people still in detention centres.

On 30 August, in close coordination with the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and the Somali Embassy, IOM provided direct humanitarian assistance in the form of medical consultations, food, water and non-food items to around 90 Somali migrants affected by the violence. Migrants who expressed a desire to go back home will be provided with Voluntary Humanitarian Return Assistance to guarantee their safe return. IOM is closely coordinating with UNHCR to find solutions for the Somalis who do not wish to return home. 

IOM continues to monitor the situation closely and respond to the humanitarian situation of the affected populations in Tripoli, while coordinating with the Libyan authorities, UN agencies and international organizations to ensure existing needs are addressed.  

IOM staff remains on the ground, continuing regular operations.

For more information please contact Christine Petre at IOM Libya, Tel: +21629240448, Email: chpetre@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2018 - 18:48Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM provides emergency assistance to displaced Libyan families. Photo: IOM Libya, 2018 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 67,122 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,549

Tue, 08/28/2018 - 09:32

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 67,122 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 26 August, with 27,994 to Spain, the leading destination this year. This compares with 123,205 (172,362 for the entire year) arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 272,612 at this point in 2016.

Spain, with 42 per cent of all arrivals through the year, continues to receive seaborne migrants in August at a volume more than twice that of Greece and more than four times that of Italy. Italy’s arrivals through late August are the lowest recorded at this point of a normally busy summer sailing season in almost five years (see chart below).

IOM Rome on Monday reported that late Saturday, after a prolonged delay, all the migrants on the Italian Coast Guard ship Diciotti were allowed to disembark into Italy.

The 190 migrants (mostly Eritreans and Somalis) were rescued by the Diciotti on 15 August. However, the ship was permitted only the evacuation of 13 migrants (for medical reasons) before being ordered to wait at anchor off the coast of Lampedusa. That lasted five days, before the Diciotti’s crew received authorization to move their vessel to the port of Catania.

The remaining migrants then remained on board five additional days in the port of Catania, as Italian authorities were unable to authorize their landing – because the Italian authorities insisted they would not authorize disembarkation until there was an agreement to relocate them to other EU Member States.

Following several humanitarian appeals (both IOM and UNHCR asked the Italian Government to allow these migrants to disembark) only the minors were permitted to leave the ship by Thursday evening.

While an agreement was not reached at EU level, all the migrants ultimately were allowed to disembark on Saturday night, when the Italian Minister of Interior announced that 20 migrants will be relocated to Albania and 20 to Ireland, while 100 would be welcomed by the Vatican – within Italian territory, however, on property administered by the Holy See.

According to testimonies gathered by IOM staff from the minors who disembarked Thursday evening, the migrants – all malnourished and exhausted – reported having been arbitrarily detained for up to two years in Libya, where many of them had been beaten and tortured by smugglers and traffickers seeking ransom money from their families in their countries of origin. Moreover, Italian doctors who attended the women on the Diciotti reported that many of them had been raped while in Libya.

“Migrants arriving from Libya are often victims of violence, abuses and torture; their vulnerabilities should be timely and properly identified and addressed,” added Federico Soda, Director of IOM’s Coordinating Office for the Mediterranean and Chief of Mission for Italy and Malta.     

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has documented the deaths of 1,549 people on the Mediterranean in 2018. Most recently, in the Western Mediterranean, the Spanish Guardia Civil recovered the body of a young Sub-Saharan man near Alboran Island on 24 August. A merchant vessel had spotted his body, along with the body of another migrant, and had alerted Spanish authorities. A search operation is still underway to find the remains of the other migrant, which have not been located as of 27 August.

On 24 and 25 August, the remains of two individuals were recovered off the coast of Djerba in Tunisia. They are believed to have died in a shipwreck that took place on 20 August off the coast of Djerba. The current death toll from that shipwreck stands at eight dead and one missing. One survivor was rescued by the Tunisian National Guard.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 27,994 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 26 August (see chart below).

She further reported that starting Sunday (26 August) a new, temporary, Motril-based reception centre for foreigners has become operational. This centre can accommodate a total of 250 migrants. A similar reception centre – the first of its type – also became operational at the Port of Crinavis in San Roque on 2 August. Currently, the centre in San Roque remains the largest centre of this type in Spain with a total capacity of 450 persons.

Given the increase in arrivals, the Spanish authorities decided to activate these types of centres in order to speed up the identification process of the newly arrived migrants. The maximum duration of stay in these centres is limited to 72 hours, after which the migrants are transferred to various Humanitarian Assistance Reception Centres. Explained Dodevska: “The newly opened centers are only for the first identification process upon arrival.  The Humanitarian ones are financed by the Ministry of Labour, Migrations and Social Security and all of them are managed by NGOs.”

IOM notes that over this year’s first five months, a total of 8,150 men, women and children were rescued in Spanish waters after leaving Africa – an average of 54 per day. Since 31 May, a total of 19,844 have arrived – or just under 230 migrants per day.

The months of May-August this year have seen a total of 23,367 irregular migrants arriving by sea, the busiest four-month period for Spain since IOM began tallying arrival statistics, with just under one week left in August. June remains the busiest month for irregular arrivals this year – nearly 8,000 men, women and children via Western Mediterranean waters – while August looks to be on track to receive slightly fewer than that, with around 6,500 migrants expected (see chart below).

On Monday, IOM Athens’ Antigoni Avgeropoulou reported that from Thursday (23 August) through this past Sunday, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) was involved in at least eight incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Samos, Lesvos, Chios and Kos. The HCG rescued a total 297 migrants and transferred them to those islands.

Additional arrivals to Samos, Kos, Agathonisi, Farmakonisi and Lesvos of some 277 men, women and children brings to 18,529 the total number of arrivals by sea to Greece in 2018 through 26 August (see chart below).

IOM’s Marta Sanchez reported Thursday IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths worldwide of 2,481 people during migration to international destinations in 2018 (see chart below).

Besides the recent deaths in the Mediterranean, MMP recorded the deaths of three people on the US-Mexico border. Authorities reportedly found the remains of two people recovered from the banks of the Río Bravo. On 23 August, the body of a woman was found near Colonia Claudette in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. The next day, 24 August, Mexican civil protection authorities retrieved the body of a man near Reynosa Díaz in Tamaulipas. Earlier that week, on 21 August, US Border Patrol agents found the body of a man in a water basin south of Mercedes, Texas.

In Mexico, two Guatemalan migrants, a 14-year-old girl and a man of unknown age, died in a vehicle accident in Parras de la Fuente, Coahuila on 25 August. Five migrants who were travelling with them suffered injuries.

On 26 August, a man of unknown nationality was found dead near train tracks between the municipalities of Chinameca and Oteapan, in Veracruz. He likely fell from the top of a train car on which he was making his way to the US border.

The Missing Migrants Project team also received information about two other train accidents in which Honduran nationals lost their lives earlier in the month. On 4 August, a 42-year-old Honduran man was killed by a freight train near Charcas, in San Luis Potosí. On 6 August, a 26-year-old man was found dead near train tracks in Parras de la Fuente, Coahuila. He has been identified and his family notified through the Honduran Consulate in Coahuila, which has started repatriation proceedings.

In the Caribbean, three migrants from the Dominican Republic went missing on 15 August when they were trying to reach Puerto Rico by boat, according to the US Coast Guard, while 24 others were rescued.

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

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: 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
Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 248, Email: cnikolaidou@iom.int
Antigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel: + +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 166, Email: avgeropoulou@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@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, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - 15:29Image: Region-Country: CyprusGreeceItalyMaltaSpainThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

“Migration Policy Increasingly Important” Regional Director Tells European Migration Network

Tue, 08/28/2018 - 09:29

Bratislava – Migration policy is expected to become an increasingly important economic – as well as social – issue for Eastern European and Eastern EU countries. That was the core message given to a distinguished audience of academia, politicians, diplomats and scientists at the sixth European Migration Network Educational Seminar of Migration in Bratislava, Slovakia on 23/8, by Argentina Szabados, IOM’s Regional Director for South Eastern and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

In her keynote speech, Szabados addressed the subject of “Increasing trends of labour migration from Eastern and South-Eastern Europe into Central Europe – roles and responsibilities of countries of origin, countries of destination and the private sector”. She began by noting that Eastern EU countries have transitioned from primarily countries of emigration to become countries of immigration.

“As is [often] the case globally, the primary drivers of migration in the region are economic. People seek better opportunities and better salaries, particularly for lower-skilled and seasonal work.”

Given an ageing population and declining labour supply, governments in the region will rely more heavily on immigration in the future to meet labour market needs. People will migrate for longer periods, predicted Szabados, and a wider variety of lifestyle factors will come into play in terms of governance, educational opportunities for family, social networks and community.

Poland, the Baltic states, Czechia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania are all increasingly opening up to increase either temporary or permanent migration to meet labour market needs. Given geographic proximity, as well as historical, cultural, and linguistic ties, much of this migration has tended to come from the Eastern Neighbourhood. Ukraine, primarily, but also the Republic of Moldova, Belarus, Georgia and the Western Balkans have been key countries of origin to Eastern EU countries.

Szabados challenged governments to ensure sure they have policies and programmes in place to attract both highly skilled and lower skilled migrants.

As more people leave their communities for better paying jobs abroad, countries of origin can themselves face labour market shortages. This is particularly the case for higher skilled occupations as workers in those occupations tend to be more mobile. In certain occupations and communities in Ukraine, we are already beginning to see significant labour market shortages due to the large exodus over the past three years, Szabados posited.

Labour migration does not just have an impact on migrants and their families, and communities of destination but can also have significant impacts on communities of origin as well – particularly when emigration takes place on a large scale. This can result in higher dependency ratios as those who remain are, on average, older, with a higher proportion of retired persons. This can place a double burden on the government as a lower tax base limits resources while the state must provide increased services for the remaining population.

Migration can divide families with either the mother or father (or both parents) emigrating and leaving family members behind. This can result in social change for families and for the community at large as those that remain take on new roles and responsibilities.

With increasing levels of labour emigration, communities of origin will become increasingly dependent on remittances to sustain economic activity and growth. In addition to creating distortions within the economy, this can leave countries vulnerable to external economic and political shocks that may disrupt remittance flows.

Switching to the local level, where the real impacts of migration are felt, Szabados underscored the “critical” role of local government in supporting the successful integration of immigrants and addressing socio-economic challenges that may arise.

“The arrival of immigrants into a community can cause unease, fear and distrust among some members of the local population,” she said. “This is particularly true in communities that are not used to immigration flows and in cases where immigration flows have increased quite suddenly. Programmes to counter xenophobia and promote social cohesion, and activities that bring members of host and immigrant communities together are essential to address tensions that may result from immigration.”

For more information please contact Joe Lowry at the IOM Regional Office in Vienna, Tel: +43 660 377 6404, Email: jlowry@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - 15:28Image: Region-Country: SlovakiaThemes: Migration PolicyDefault: Multimedia: 

Argentina Szabados, IOM Regional Director for South Eastern and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Afghanistan Promotes Regional Cooperation on Combatting Human Trafficking

Tue, 08/28/2018 - 09:28

Kabul – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) has co-organized a second regional forum bringing together non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to discuss cross-border cooperation to combat human trafficking in Central and South Asia.

The two-day forum, which began yesterday, is part of the multi-year Combating Human Trafficking in Persons (CTIP) project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by IOM. Participants include representatives of the Afghan government, counter trafficking NGOs, civil society organizations and media.

“By passing a new trafficking law (in 2017), we have created a good foundation to respond to trafficking in a more comprehensive way,” said Afghan Justice Minister and Chair of the TIP High Commission Dr. Abdul Basir Anwar. “I hope that the NGOs attending this forum can further strengthen our response to trafficking by increasing their cross-border cooperation.”

The Afghan law on trafficking and smuggling was revised to help Afghan government officials to clearly distinguish between trafficking and smuggling of people, which were previously regarded as the same. By making the distinction, it offers better protection for the victims of both crimes.

According to the US State Department’s TIP Report 2018, Afghanistan is a source, transit and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sexual exploitation.

There is more internal than cross-border trafficking, but in recent years IOM has observed a steady increase in young women being trafficked to Afghanistan from neighboring countries, notably Pakistan.

Most Afghan victims of trafficking are women and children. While women are subjected to sexual and non-sexual exploitation, children are largely trafficked to work in carpet weaving and brick factories, domestic servitude, as bacha bazi (dancing boys) or for forced begging.

Victims are often sold by economically desperate families or kidnapped. As elsewhere, traffickers frequently subject their victims to coercion, violence and emotional abuse. Once abroad, traffickers usually confiscate their victims’ travel documents, making trans-border cooperation essential in order to rescue them.

“Trafficking in persons is a serious concern in Afghanistan and its neighboring countries,” said IOM Afghanistan Chief of Mission and Special Envoy Laurence Hart. “Promoting regional cooperation to help the Afghan government to effectively implement this new legislation is the central purpose of this forum.”

The first counter-trafficking regional forum, which was held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, in June 2017, saw NGOs from participating countries agree to coordinate their efforts. Afghan NGOs subsequently formed the Afghanistan Network for Combating Trafficking in Persons (ANCTIP), which was officially launched in May 2018. The network has started to work in partnership with Pakistani counterparts and plans to collaborate with other neighboring countries. 

“Our role is to establish and strengthen cross border coordination among NGOs and CSOs to better identify, refer and protect the victims and to prosecute the traffickers,” said Mohammad Shoaib Nasiri, Country Director of forum co-organizer Fast Organization for Relief and Development (OFRD).

Read more about IOM’s counter trafficking work in Afghanistan at: https://afghanistan.iom.int/

For more information please contact Eva Schwoerer at IOM Kabul. Tel: +93 729 229 129, Email: eschwoerer@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - 15:27Image: Region-Country: AfghanistanThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

NGO representatives from Afghanistan and Uzbekistan discuss counter trafficking cooperation at today’s forum in Kabul. Photo: IOM 2018.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Supports New Legal Pathway for Haitians in Chile

Tue, 08/28/2018 - 09:26

Port-au-Prince – At the request of the Government of Chile, IOM, the UN Migration Agency has opened the first Visa Service Centre for Chile (CAVC) in Haiti, to help Haitian migrants find legal pathways to the South American country. The CAVC opened its doors in the IOM mission compound in Port-au-Prince on Monday, 20 August 2018.

As a result of increased immigration which reached nearly one million foreigners in 2017, the Chilean government instituted new migratory policies in 2018. Through the establishment of new visa categories which include Family Reunification Visas, Haitians can now travel safely and legally to Chile.

Earlier this month, IOM signed an agreement with the Government of Chile to provide administrative support services to assist Haitians wishing to join their families in Chile through the Family Reunification Visa. The CAVC opening is the direct result of this agreement.

“Safe migration is essential and ensures that migrants have legal avenues to seek employment and social services and enables them to better integrate into their host country,” said Shauna Martin, Programme Manager for Migration Management, IOM Haiti.

The Family Reunification Visa was announced in April and became effective this month. The Chilean Chancellor Roberto Ampuero confirmed that as of 2 July 2018, Haitians in Chile with legal status can apply for a 12-month visa for family reunification with IOM’s support.

"The importance of this document is to allow children to not be separated from their families, as well as to give them protection, dignity and well-being," said Ampuero, in quotes carried by El Mercurio newspaper.

These changes in Chilean migratory policy were devised to find a solution to the wave of undocumented foreigners arriving in Chile over the last five years. Chile’s steady economic growth, political stability and relatively open job market has made it one of the more attractive destinations for regional immigrants in recent years. It’s evidenced by an influx of migrants, many from crisis-hit Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

“The community of Haitian citizens numbers around 120,000 and we believe that for practical purposes we have to help their children and spouses to come quickly and without obstacles to this country,” said Chilean Undersecretary of the Interior, Rodrigo Ubilla in quotes published by Inter Press Service News Agency.

By any measure, the influx of migrants to Chile has been significant. In 2014, there were fewer than 1,800 Haitian migrants in Chile. By April 2018, there were nearly 120,000, according to official figures. According to the Chilean judicial police, in the six months between 1 January and 26 July 2017, over 44,200 Haitians entered Chilean territory. It was a 75 per cent increase from the previous year and has shown no signs of slowing down without changes to the national migration policy.

Upon arrival, many Haitians find low-paid jobs in the labour market where Chileans are reluctant to work, particularly in construction, domestic service and agriculture.

In Port-au-Prince Haiti, IOM set up the visa processing centre’s facilities, systems, and human resources in under a week’s time. Processing capacity is up to 40 interviews a day or more, based on demand.

“Establishing safe pathways to migration is key. IOM established a dedicated website (https://haiti.iom.int/cavc/) with Frequently Asked Questions and set up a hotline for immediate assistance via the Chilean Visa Service Centre. Calls may be made to +509 2947 7746 or +509 2991 0362 from 7:30am to 4:00pm.  These mechanisms help to ensure that migrants make informed decisions and don’t fall victim to exploitation,” said IOM’s Martin.

Haitians looking to join their families in Chile can now register for an appointment through IOM’s online system, accessible through https://haiti.iom.int/cavc/rendez-vous.

“IOM looks forward to supporting this new legal pathway for Haitians who wish to reunite with their families,” said IOM Haiti’s Acting Chief of Mission Bernard Lami.

For more information, please contact Emily Bauman at IOM Haiti, Tel: +509 3783 5424, Email: ebauman@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - 15:25Image: Region-Country: HaitiThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

The number of Haitian migrants in Chile has grown from less than 1,800 in 2014 to nearly 120,000 in April 2018. Photo: IOM/Shauna Martin

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Rohingya Crisis: One Year On

Fri, 08/24/2018 - 08:56

Cox’s Bazar – One year into a crisis that has seen over 700,000 refugees escape violence in Myanmar by fleeing into Bangladesh, the Rohingya once more stand on the verge of another disaster if more funding for the humanitarian response cannot be secured.

The immense efforts of the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and its partners to support the Government of Bangladesh in the humanitarian response since the influx began a year ago are evident across what has become the largest refugee settlement in the world.

Almost a million Rohingya now live in Cox’s Bazar. From the early days of the crisis when thousands were crossing the border daily, sleeping under open skies, many injured and on the brink of starvation, conditions on the ground have improved immeasurably. All the refugees now have access to basic shelter, food and healthcare.

Intensive cooperative efforts to avert landslides – including work to prevent soil erosion, preparing ground to make it flatter and safer, emergency response planning, awareness raising and the relocation of more than 24,000 people most at risk – mean major tragedies have so far been avoided in the camps, despite the dangerous topography and extreme weather conditions.

But that does not mean danger has passed. Another cyclone season looms at the end of September and severe funding shortages threaten the delivery of vital services.

“The achievements of the past year have been remarkable,” said Giorgi Gigauri, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Bangladesh. “This was the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world and the challenges have been immense. Countless lives have been saved thanks to the generosity of the Government of Bangladesh, the local community and donors, and the hard work of all those involved in the humanitarian response. But we now face the very real threat that if more funding is not urgently secured, lives will once again be at risk.”

Over 212,000 families – almost the entire refugee population – have now received shelter upgrade materials, with IOM providing shelter assistance to over 120,000 households.  Work is also ongoing to increase access to clean water and improve sanitation. IOM Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) teams have completed over 330 deep tube wells in the camps, with dozens more currently being installed.

Protection services are integral part of IOM’s response and over 23,000 extremely vulnerable people with protection needs have been identified since the crisis began. As lead agency in the fight against human trafficking in the camps, IOM is working with authorities and communities to tackle this growing threat to the refugee population.

Meeting the needs of the host community, which has also been impacted by the crisis, has also been central to the response. IOM is working with partner agencies on a range of longer-term initiatives to address environmental damage through alternative fuel provision, as well as reforestation projects that can provide work opportunities. Local farmers are being supported with machinery and seeds to help boost food production.

But as of now, the overall humanitarian response has just one third of the funding that it needs to see it through the end of the year.

“IOM medical staff this month logged half a million consultations since this crisis began. That shows you the level of need we are facing. But the stark reality is that without more support, such services are under threat,” said Gigauri.

“That will not just impact on those who need immediate medical treatment, but also on public health measures such as vaccination and outreach, without which the risk of large scale disease outbreaks will increase dramatically. Meanwhile, maintaining drainage and emptying latrines costs money. Without this we will see overflows leading to water contamination and the spread of disease.”

Gigauri stressed that in a humanitarian response of this scale, restrictions or cut backs to any one service would have a knock-on impact on the wider response.

“We must not underestimate the dangers the Rohingya refugees still face. One year on from the start of the crisis, they must not be forgotten,” he said. “These people have survived almost unimaginable suffering. The international community must not now turn its back and allow the Rohingya to be plunged into yet another tragedy.”

For more information please contact Fiona MacGregor at IOM Cox’s Bazar, Tel. 88 0 1733 335221, Email: fmacgregor@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 24, 2018 - 14:55Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Aid agencies have only received a third of the USD 951 million needed to support nearly a million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh through year end. Photo: Muse Mohammed / IOM 2018   

An elderly Rohingya women looks out over new shelters in the Kutupalong megacamp - the biggest refugee settlement in the world. Photo: Muse Mohammed / IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 65,576 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,546

Fri, 08/24/2018 - 08:54

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 65,576 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 22 August, with 27,577 to Spain, the leading destination this year. This compares with 120,624 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 271,951 at this point in 2016.

Spain, with 42 per cent of all arrivals through the year, continues to receive seaborne migrants in August at a volume more than twice that of Greece and more than six times that of Italy. Italy’s arrivals through late August are the lowest recorded at this point of a normally busy summer season in almost five years (see chart below).


IOM Rome on Thursday joined UNHCR in an appeal to the Government of Italy to allow rescued refugees and migrants on board the Italian coast guard vessel Diciotti to disembark.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo said several vulnerable people – including 17 persons in need of medical care and 27 unaccompanied children – already have been allowed to leave the vessel on humanitarian grounds. Some 150 passengers – all adults – currently remain on board the Diciotti, which has been docked in the Sicilian port of Catania since 20 August. 

While welcoming the decision by Italy to allow some of the most vulnerable passengers to disembark, IOM notes it remains crucial to allow everyone remaining on the vessel to come ashore as their humanitarian needs cannot be fully met on board.

“Migrants arriving from Libya are often victims of violence, abuses and torture, their vulnerabilities should be timely and properly identified and addressed,” added Federico Soda, Director of IOM’s Coordinating Office for the Mediterranean, and Chief of Mission for Italy and Malta.

In recent months, UNHCR and IOM have called for a regional arrangement for rescue and disembarkation of passengers in distress on the Mediterranean Sea.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 1,546 people on the Mediterranean in 2018. Most recently, an estimated 11 people lost their lives in the Central Mediterranean in two separate incidents. On 20 August, a boat carrying 10 Tunisian migrants capsized off the coast of Djerba, in the Médenine Governorate. Only one survivor was found alive by the Tunisian National Guard, while the remains of six others were retrieved over the next few days. Three people remain missing. On 22 August, the Armed Forces of Malta rescued 100 people and recovered two bodies from a boat found 68 nautical miles south of Malta.

IOM’s Christine Petré reported that late Wednesday night (22 August), 25 migrants (21 men, three women and one child) received food and water, as well as medical and protection assistance as they were disembarked by the Libyan Coast Guard. The migrants had embarked in Azzawiyah on a rubber boat with the majority coming from Bangladesh, as well as from Sudan, Ghana, Niger, Cameroon, Mali and Côte d’Ivoire.

Migrants suffered from headaches and muscle pain and eight migrants received basic onsite medical treatment. Following humanitarian assistance, everyone was transferred to Tripoli-based detention centres.

The previous night (21 August), another 138 migrants (111 men, 14 women and 13 children), a majority from Sudan, who had embarked on a rubber boat in Garaboli were returned by the Libyan Coast Guard. Because of the Eid holiday, all migrants were immediately transferred to a detention centre. IOM is following up with assistance in the centre. 

So far this year, 12,998 migrants have been returned to Libya.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 27,577 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 22 August. She cited media reports that 200 migrants crossed the fence into Spain’s Ceuta enclave Wednesday, bringing to 4,382 the total number of arrivals by land by irregular migrants in 2018 (see charts below).

 

IOM notes that over this year’s first five months, a total of 8,150 men, women and children were rescued in Spanish waters after leaving Africa – an average of 54 per day. In the 83 days since 31 May, a total of 24,858 have arrived – or just under 300 migrants per day. The months of May-August this year have seen a total of 28,380 irregular migrants arriving by sea, the busiest four-month period for Spain since IOM began tallying arrival statistics, with just over one week left in August.

On Thursday, IOM Athens’ Christine Nikolaidou reported that over three days (20-22 August) this week, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) units managed at least two incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos and Kos. The HCG rescued a total 69 migrants and transferred them to those islands.

Additional arrivals to Samos, Kos and Lesvos of some 246 men, women and children brings to 17,955 the total number of arrivals by sea to Greece through 22 August (see chart below).

Almost 16,000 migrants have been registered between January and the second half of August in the countries along the Western Balkans route leading from Greece to Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Seventy-three per cent of all irregular migrants were registered in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a total of 11,589 in the period between January and 19 August 2018. There are estimated 550 registered arrivals on a weekly basis on average  since March 2018 when an increase in arrivals to the country was observed. Due to the increased border controls with the neighboring EU member states, migrants have limited options for continuing their journey towards Western Europe. This lead to the increase of migrants present in the country, especially in the Una-Sana County in the North Western part of the country. Based on the field reports from IOM staff, there are estimated 5,000 migrants currently staying in different unofficial and official sites in this region.

The remaining 4,148 irregular migrants were registered by the authorities in Montenegro and Albania, mainly in Montenegro where between January and 15 August 2018 reported 2,744 new arrivals. At the end of the second week of August there were estimated 253 migrants and asylum seekers accommodated in the country.

Authorities in Albania registered 1,404 on entry to the country, in Southern Gjirokastra region neighboring Greece. According to the field reports, majority of migrants were returned to Greece, therefore only few migrants decided to stay in Albania and seek for asylum. As of 15 August, estimated 20 asylum seekers and migrants were reported residing in the official reception facilities. Further on, DTM is implementing flow monitoring activities in the north of the country since March 2018. Collected data shows that 810 migrants were intercepted in Shkodra region while trying to exit the country towards Montenegro.

Almost all migrants who are intercepted in the Western Balkans have arrived to Europe from Turkey as this is the main departure point for all registered arrivals to Greece. However, available DTM flow monitoring data on arrivals to Italy indicated that 9% of registered arrivals to Italy this year, departed from Turkey, with Antalya, Izmir, Bodrum being the main departure locations. Based on field reports from IOM colleagues in Italy, boats sailing from Turkey disembark in Calabria and Apulia, and some of them even reach Sicily. Majority of migrants who used this route declared being from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. Some boats sail directly from Turkey to Italy while others stop in Greece to embark other migrants. However, North African countries, especially Libya (62%) and Tunisia (17%) are still the first departure points for migrants who seek for better life on the European soil.

IOM’s Marta Sanchez reported Thursday IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has documented the deaths worldwide of 2,466 people during migration to international destinations in 2018 (see chart below).

In addition to the recent Mediterranean drownings, MMP reported that on the US-Mexico border, the remains of five people were retrieved between 17 and 21 August. US Border Patrol agents recovered the remains of a deceased individual from a water basin near Mercedes, Texas on 17 August. Two days later, on 19 August, two people drowned in a canal near La Joya, Texas. On the same day, the body of a 50-year-old Mexican man was found in a ranch in Dimmit County, Texas. On 21 August, US Border Patrol agents found the remains of another individual in a ranch in Kenedy County, Texas.

The Missing Migrants Project team also recorded two deaths in South America. On 10 August, a 5-year-old girl, believed to be Nigerian, died of hypothermia near the Rumichaca International Bridge, on the Colombia-Ecuador border. In July, a Venezuelan woman died of hypothermia while crossing the Andes into Colombia, on the road between Cúcuta and Bucaramanga near Berlín, in the province of Santander.

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

 

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: 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
Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 248, Email: cnikolaidou@iom.int

Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@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, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 24, 2018 - 14:50Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Chad Calls for Urgent Funding to Assist Thousands of Migrant Gold Miners

Fri, 08/24/2018 - 08:54

N’Djamena – The attack on a border post on 11 August near Chad’s largest gold mining areas in the Tibesti Region has prompted the Government of Chad to stop all gold mining activities in Miski and Kouri Bougri, two of the country’s major gold mining areas. Both are near Chad’s border with Libya; both have attracted migrant workers from West and Central Africa, as well as Chadians, since 2013.

The sudden decision has prompted thousands of migrant gold miners to relocate to the cities of Zouarke and Zouar in the Tibesti region, while at least 3,800 people have moved to Faya in the Borkou region in Northern Chad. These recent population movements have exhausted the resources available to local populations and local authorities lack the means to provide immediate assistance to these migrants.

“The situation for these migrants is dire, as neither IOM nor local authorities are able to assist them for lack of funding. The communities of Zouarke and Faya are doing their best to help these people, but their resources are limited,” explained Anne Kathrin Schaefer, IOM Chief of Mission in Chad. “These stranded migrants have little to no access to food, water, and shelter. Many of them are likely victims of trafficking and urgently need to be assisted.”

IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, has been working in Chad since 2009 and is currently implementing the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration exclusively for migration flow monitoring.

IOM Chad supports the government in developing informed and responsive policies and programmatic responses to migration challenges, border management and counter-trafficking. For years, IOM Chad’s core activities have been focused on community stabilization and emergency support for displaced and returning Chadians.

Many of the stranded migrants are from neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan and Cameroon. Many fled the border region without collecting their final salaries and today find themselves without means to return to their countries of origin.

“We call on humanitarian actors in Chad, especially IOM, to provide assistance to vulnerable migrants,” said Daoud Bashir, the Governor of the Borkou region in a press interview on 20 August, adding: “But this assistance cannot be provided without the support of donors.”

At least USD 500,000 is urgently needed to provide immediate assistance as well as voluntary return assistance to the thousands of stranded migrants in Chad.

A High-Level Conference on the Lake Chad Region is to be convened in Berlin, Germany, next month (3-4 September) to mobilize resources for millions of vulnerable people affected by protracted conflicts in the region. It is essential that these new migration dynamics in Chad – which is rapidly becoming a transit country for hundreds of thousand Sub-Saharan migrants traveling to Libya – receives international attention and funding.

The Tibesti Region continues to attract sub-Saharan workers, particularly due to the presence of gold mines considered by some migrants as providing opportunity to raise money before continuing their journey up into Libya towards Europe.

Gold mining areas in Chad also are well-known transit points along the migratory routes for West and Central African migrants. Many of the stranded migrants reported to IOM staff of having been trapped into forced labour for months, hoping to gain enough money to continue their journeys. Some workers had been transported by traffickers and were forced to work in mines without payment as they were forced to fully reimburse transportation and “placement” fees.

Since January 2018, over 200 victims of trafficking have been referred to IOM by the local authorities. Funding will also help raise awareness on the risks of human trafficking in the Tibesti region.

For more information, please contact Anne Kathrin Schaefer at IOM Chad, Email: aschaefer@iom.int, Tel: +235 60 28 17 78

Language English Posted: Friday, August 24, 2018 - 14:45Image: Region-Country: ChadThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationHumanitarian EmergenciesLabour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Some of the migrant gold miners needing assistance after Chad halted activities in two of the country’s major gold mining areas. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Restores 500 Homes in Dominica After Devastating Hurricane

Fri, 08/24/2018 - 08:53

Roseau – Over 500 families who lost their roofs and nearly everything else after Hurricane Maria have received assistance from the UN Migration Agency (IOM) to rebuild stronger, more resilient roofs.

An IOM contingent arrived in Dominica less than two weeks after the Category Five hurricane decimated Dominica on 18 September 2017, damaging or destroying 90 per cent of the housing stock.

Almost a year after on, Dominica is still struggling to return to normality. Most of the country has been reconnected to the national water and power grids, schools have reopened, and the government is working to become the world’s first climate resilient country. Notwithstanding, there is still a great deal of work to be done: homes with tarps for roofs, piles of distorted galvanized sheets, abandoned houses and businesses are the most common view in Roseau, Dominica’s capital.  

Wyzelle Philogene, a mother of three, admitted that she didn’t take proper precaution and was still at home cooking and doing domestic chores when the hurricane hit the island. That disregard was quickly replaced by fear as she scrambled to keep herself and children safe as Maria’s strong winds and heavy rain wreaked havoc. Looking at her house the day after, she said she felt “heartbroken”.

“The house looked like a total disaster. There was no roof, no door, part of the house at the front gone, most of the stuff inside gone. There was stuff that I bought just before the storm, and I lost all of it. My television, I bought it on the Friday before the storm, and I lost it. It was a package. The fridge, the stove, and television, I lost all of them,” she disclosed.

Before the hurricane, Wyzelle paid for her children’s education on her small salary and did everything a single, independent mother could. “But after Maria, I couldn’t do that. I lost my job; at a certain time, there was no school. I had to find a way to fend for them because there is no work – even if you have some little savings you have to know how to use it – and how not to use it. Food was not (available) like before where you could just rush to the supermarket because everywhere was damaged. It was hard, to be honest, it was hard – no water, no electricity, but we managed.”

For almost a month, she and her children lived at a friend’s house with about 10 to 15 other people.  Though homesickness crept in, gratitude for the kind hospitality overrode those feelings, and the mother and children did their best to manage under the circumstances. When it was time to return home, she found herself under tarps and shortly after, under patched, damaged, discarded galvanized sheets.

“Whenever rain fell you had to get buckets and containers to collect water. It wasn’t the same, but we had to cope, we had no choice,” Wyzelle said ruefully.

With the guidance of vulnerability criteria provided by the Ministry of Social Services, and the help of her village council and a special beneficiary selection committee, Wyzelle qualified to receive humanitarian assistance from IOM.  In less than a week her leaky sheets were replaced with a brand-new roof.

“A repaired house for the safety and security to all my family, especially in this hurricane season. I love it, to be honest,” she affirmed.

“Getting to this stage has not been easy,” says Jan-Willem Wegdam, IOM Dominica Team Leader.  “We have had to be creative to solve procurement issues, obtaining scarce building materials, recruiting skilled carpenters from the wider Caribbean because, we simply did not have enough available workforce locally to implement the work. We have been working with many international and local organizations: Habitat for Humanity, ADRA, All Hands & Hearts, volunteer builders from the Mennonite community and, of course, our migrant carpenters.”

Emergency shelters still house families who have not been able to return to a normal life in what remains of their homes. Many houses simply disappeared. Emergency shelters across the island were damaged, and most have not yet been repaired. 

IOM has been able to assist with housing needs in 11 communities so far, repairing or re-building roofs and wooden core houses with funding from UK Aid, the European Commission’s humanitarian agency (ECHO), the Government of Australia, and contributions from ChinaAID via the UNDP. Even though the milestone of over 500 families assisted is celebrated, there is still room to do more. 

IOM currently employs over 150 people across Dominica; only three are expats.  The economic impact of this is significant through wages and salaries, casual pay, rental of vehicles and accommodation, and procurement of goods and services. 

With Dominica being one of its newest member states, IOM is building capacity for a long-term presence on the island, positioning to be an active partner to the government and people of Dominica in a quest to build better homes, communities, and improve lives across the island. 

For further information please Contact Maxine Alleyne-Esprit at IOM Dominica, Email: malleyne@iom.int  Tel: + (767) 275-3225.

Language English Posted: Friday, August 24, 2018 - 14:40Image: Region-Country: DominicaThemes: Migration and Climate ChangeShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

With funds provided by the EU, UK, Australia and China, IOM has rebuilt over 500 houses obliterated by Hurricane Maria. Photo: Sheldon Casimir / IOM

IOM recruited migrant carpenters from nearby Caribbean islands, due to scarce local workforce available in Dominica after the hurricane. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Students in Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, to Discuss Global Migration Issues

Fri, 08/24/2018 - 08:52

Washington, DC – USA for IOM, the non-profit partner of the International Organization for Migration, has developed a partnership with the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA) to strengthen youth engagement on migration issues for the 2018-19 academic year. With more people on the move today than ever before, the collaboration encourages dialogue and understanding through a curriculum set to reach more than 1,000 middle and high school students in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

As part of UNA-NCA’s Global Classrooms DC (GCDC) education program, USA for IOM collaborated to develop a curriculum unit on the topic of migration. The curriculum includes a mini Model UN simulation on resolution writing, designed to strengthen students’ writing skills and teach about the many ways the UN works to address international migration issues.

The curriculum incorporates creative films submitted to the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival, a joint initiative between IOM and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations that encourages young people to explore issues of migration, diversity and social inclusion.

“Flowers to the Sea,” one of four videos included in the curriculum, features a young Brazilian girl who volunteered to assist refugees and migrants in Lesbos, Greece. After she returned home, she launched a project with her mother to raise funds for refugees in Greece and other countries. Produced by Bruno Tarpani, the video is available at https://pluralplus.unaoc.org/18-25-age-category/flowers-to-the-sea/.

“This remarkable film is a testament to how our youth can act as change makers,” said Maria Moreno, Head of Operations for USA for IOM. “We hope that the selection of videos inspires students participating in the Global Classrooms DC program to make a difference in their own communities.”

As part of this partnership, IOM staff will also be available to serve as guest speakers in classrooms. The year-long GCDC program will culminate with the 2019 Model UN Conference to be held at the US Department of State, during which students will be exposed to the migration-related issue of modern-day slavery, and how countries can work to confront this major problem.

For more information, please contact Liz Lizama at USA for IOM, Tel.+1 202 716 8820, Email: liz.lizama@usaforiom.org.

Language English Posted: Friday, August 24, 2018 - 14:35Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Migration and YouthOthersDefault: Multimedia: 

Flowers to the Sea, one of four videos included in the curriculum, features a young Brazilian girl who volunteered to assist refugees and migrants in Lesbos, Greece. Watch here

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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