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Updated: 2 hours 53 min ago

Grim Milestone as Migrant Deaths, Disappearances Top 4,000 for Fifth Consecutive Year

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 11:18

Berlin - For the fifth consecutive year more than 4,000 people are believed to have died or gone missing on migratory routes across the globe, the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports. 

While final data collection for 2018 is still being compiled from several jurisdictions, at least 4,592 migrants reportedly died or disappeared during their journeys, down 20 per cent from the previous year, and over 8,000 in 2016. 

Half (2,297) of those people were among the more than 116,000 migrants known to have arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean. There are few reliable sources of information about deaths and disappearances due to the clandestine nature of irregular migration so the data collected in some regions, particularly the desert approaches to Mediterranean crossing routes, are incomplete. 

Underlining the perils involved in those movements, multiple tragedies on all three Mediterranean routes in the final two weeks of the year claimed the lives of at least 23 people including two children; 31 others are reported missing. 

The coast guards, navies and rescue agencies of several nations, non-governmental groups running rescue operations and a US-flagged cargo vessel together reportedly rescued at least 135 migrants at sea in the final two weeks of the year. 

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrants deaths and disappearances are collected, click here

For more information please contact Leonard Doyle  at IOM Headquarters, Tel: +41 22 717 9589, Mobile: +41 79 285 71 23, Email:; or Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Email:,  Mobile: +49 30 278 778 27.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - 11:01Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

Photo: IOM Archive.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Sierra Leone, USAID To Train Thousands of Health Workers on Infection Prevention and Control

Fri, 12/21/2018 - 10:09

Freetown – On Wednesday (19/12), 100 health care professionals graduated from Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) training courses at a ceremony in Bo, Sierra Leone – held in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Njala University.

During the unprecedented Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone in 2014, more than 400 health care workers perished from the disease while providing life-saving assistance to infected patients.

Communities throughout Sierra Leone continue to struggle with significant health challenges and diseases, including malaria, cholera, typhoid, STIs/HIV/AIDS, respiratory tract infections, Lassa fever, maternal and child mortality, and tuberculosis.

Graduates leave the training programme with sound knowledge of IPC practices that will protect themselves, their patients and their communities during future outbreaks as well as prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

“After years of implementation in Sierra Leone, coordinating with the health system to strengthen our interventions, this project is proof of a dynamic collaboration between partners to achieve standard IPC short courses at Njala University; this is a great achievement,” said Jasmine Riley, USAID Project Coordinator.

Since January 2018, 11 certified professors delivered 10-day clinical and five-day non-clinical courses at Njala University’s three campuses—Mokonde, Kowama and Towama. Mobile teams of instructors travelled to 15 schools, reaching additional students in Bo, Bonth, Kailahun, Kenema, Makeni and Tonkolili. In total, more than 3,000 successful students will receive a certificate of merit from Njala University by the end of 2019.

In October 2016, USAID granted the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) USD 3 million for the Establishment of Infection Prevention and Control Short Courses and Mobile Training project to strengthen the health care system in the country. The project aimed to deliver static and mobile training to 3,240 students; and establish IPC simulation skills and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) laboratories.

Wednesday’s event celebrated the collaborative success of USAID, IOM, Njala University and MoHS in the joint achievement of all the project’s objectives, as well as the progress made by the Government of Sierra Leone in strengthening the capacity of health care workers.

For more information, please contact at IOM Freetown, Sanusi Savage: +232 99606000, Email: and Dr James Bagonza, +232 99606005, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, December 21, 2018 - 12:25Image: Region-Country: Sierra LeoneThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

Nursing students at the College of Medicine and Allied Health Services at the IOM Infection Prevention and Control Training in Freetown. Photo: IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Global Mayors Unite in Support of Human Mobility, Migration and Development

Fri, 12/21/2018 - 10:07

New York – On 17 December, the Marrakech Mayoral Declaration “Cities Working Together for Migrants and Refugees” was presented to the United Nations General Assembly to adopt the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) that took in New York. This event was the culmination of a series of actions which began on 8 December, when over 150 mayors and city leaders from across the globe gathered in Marrakech to participate in the 5th Mayoral Forum on Human Mobility, Migration and Development. 

This year’s Mayoral Forum focused on “City Leadership in Implementing the UN Global Compacts”. The Mayoral Declaration, adopted during the Forum, was also presented at the Intergovernmental Conference to adopt the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) on 10-11 December in Marrakech.

The Marrakech Mayoral Declaration calls for the full and formal recognition of the role of local authorities in the implementation, follow-up and review of both Global Compacts, recalling that they are at the forefront of managing the impact of migration as well as the promotion of inclusive, safe and sustainable societies, as migration remains primarily an urban and local phenomenon.

“There is no delivery of a GCM if cities do not deliver,” said Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol.

During the forum, IOM Director General António Vitorino stated: “in an increasingly urbanised world, we should be connecting migration and urbanisation policies as is called for the in New Urban Agenda and that the right to the city should also apply to migrants if we are to leave no one behind.”

“Cities and local governments are not only instances that react to migration flows and implement measures enacted by other levels of government. They are your partners,” stated Valérie Plante, Mayoress of Montreal, to the participants of the GCM conference.

“Cities and local and regional authorities have a key role to play in the implementation of both Global Compacts with cities also acting as the linchpin that can bring all necessary actors together from civil society to the private sector in order to ensure a whole-of-society impact,” stressed Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Mayors made commitments with respect to the implementation, follow-up and review of both GCM and GCR, and to future engagement within the framework of the Mayoral Mechanism that will be launched during the 2019 Global Forum on Migration and Development in Ecuador.

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is the first-ever negotiated global agreement on a common approach to international migration in all its dimensions. Emphasizing the principle of shared responsibility among countries of origin, transit and destination, it provides a roadmap for improved governance of international migration through innovative solutions, increased commitments from States, and a renewed focus on multi-stakeholder partnerships.

The 5th Mayoral Forum was co-organized by the Open Society Foundations (OSF), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) of the World Bank, the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the government of Morocco, with the participation of the UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and Cities Alliance. The Mayoral Forum has been made possible by the financial support of the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency (SDC).

The Marrakech Mayoral Declaration is available in French, Spanish and English.

For more information please contact:
Maurizio Busatti at IOM HQ, Email:
Cécile Riallant at IOM HQ, Email:
Colleen Thouez at the Open Society Foundations, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, December 21, 2018 - 12:20Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Global Compact on MigrationIOMDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Opens New Office in Mogadishu

Fri, 12/21/2018 - 10:06

Mogadishu – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) this week (19/12) opened a new main office in Mogadishu, constructed after the request of the Government of Somalia to support ongoing migration management programmes in the country.

Following International Migrants Day, IOM staff members, together with the Somali Government, gathered to celebrate this momentous event. IOM is among the first UN organizations to establish a head office in Mogadishu, to increase the presence on the ground in Somalia while downsizing its (Somalia) office in Nairobi. An increased presence in Somalia will enable a closer cooperation with government and community partners and an increased response time to meet operational needs.

In her remarks, Dyane Epstein, IOM Somalia Chief of Mission, welcomed government officials and other attendees: “Today signifies IOM’s strong commitment to the government and people of Somalia and shows our unwavering support for years to come.”

Additionally, Gamal Mohamed Hassan, the Minister of Planning, Investment and Economic Development welcomed the opening of the new office saying, “This is a historic event as we are inaugurating a full-time presence of IOM in Somalia. It shows close collaboration and our growing relationship with IOM, as well as IOM’s serious commitment to support Somalia and the Somali people. The Government calls on all INGO’s and UN agencies to relocate to Somalia.”

IOM has been operational in Somalia since 2006 and is currently present in all six states. Over the past 12 years, IOM has supported and led humanitarian response, community-based recovery and migration governance initiatives. With an annual budget of more than USD 50 million, IOM Somalia currently implements 40 projects funded by 25 different donors, aimed at offering life-saving assistance for migrant communities.

The new office in Mogadishu will serve as a hub for all programmes and support units and provide working space for 200 people (IOM and other agencies) and 28 accommodation units.

For more information please contact the IOM Somalia Programme Support Unit;; +254 715 990 600

Language English Posted: Friday, December 21, 2018 - 12:15Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff in front of the new office buildings. Photo: IOM 2018/Jan van‘t Land 

The Minister of Planning, Investment and Economic Development congratulates IOM Somalia Chief of Mission on the opening of the new IOM office in Mogadishu. Photo: IOM 2018/Jan van‘t Land 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Statement by UN Network on Migration on the Formal Endorsement of the Global Compact for Migration

Fri, 12/21/2018 - 06:41

New York/Geneva — The new United Nations Network on Migration welcomes the formal endorsement, on 19 December 2018, by the General Assembly, of the outcome of the Marrakech Conference. The adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration represents a landmark moment in the pursuit of international cooperation on migration for the benefit of all.

In welcoming the decision by the General Assembly, Louise Arbour, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration, said, “the formal endorsement of the Compact represents a resounding commitment to an international migration framework based on fact, not myth, and to an understanding that national migration policies are best implemented through cooperation not in isolation.”

“The Global Compact comes at an important moment,” said IOM Director General António Vitorino. “It contains within it the promise of an evidence-based less politically charged discourse on migration, a plan for developing more comprehensive policies to improve the lives of migrants and the communities in which they live, and the possibility to reduce dangerous, chaotic and irregular migration flows”.

The Global Compact on Migration is the first-ever negotiated global framework on a common approach to international migration in all its dimensions. Though non-legally binding, the Compact is the product of an intensive process of negotiations providing a strong platform for cooperation on migration now and into the future, drawing on best practice and international law, to make migration safe and positive for all.

The Compact’s significance also lies in its recognition that effective migration policies, and greater protection of the vulnerable, require the support of many actors.  To that end, the Compact was strengthened by the engagement of a broad alliance of partners, including civil society, the private sector, trade unions, diaspora and migrant communities, national human rights institutions, local authorities, youth networks and other actors.

The United Nations system is committed to supporting the implementation of the Global Compact through the creation of the UN Network on Migration: a collaborative community of United Nations entities coming together to provide effective and coordinated support to Member States and other partners in carrying forward the objectives agreed to in Marrakech.  This Network will leverage the impact of the United Nations’ considerable expertise and capacity in helping to strengthen the benefits of migration and to address its many challenges.

“Migration is a phenomenon with many dimensions,” said António Vitorino, speaking as the Network Coordinator on behalf of its Executive Committee and wider membership.  “It touches on profound and urgent questions of sustainable development, climate change, humanitarian crisis, border control, security, fighting trafficking in human beings as well as smuggling, fostering means of legal migration, including for work, and greater protection of our universal human rights. No single part of the UN community can effectively address all dimensions of migration but together we have the chance to make a real difference.  That is what the Network is about.”

Recalling her closing comments at the Marrakech Conference, Louise Arbour said, “As the many initiatives proposed by the Compact start to take root, we will see lives saved, living conditions improve, and communities integrate and flourish through increased development and prosperity. Looking to the future, we will be better equipped to rely on a spirit of solidarity, rather than on indifference or – worse – selfishness that could otherwise tear us apart.”

The United Nations Network on Migration was established at the request of the Secretary-General and is welcomed in the Global Compact on Migration. It currently comprises 38 entities from within the United Nations system. The Director General of IOM is the Coordinator of the Network. An Executive Committee of eight provides strategic oversight and is the principal decision-making body of the Network.

Members of the Executive Committee are: the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA); the International Labour Organization (ILO); the International Organization for Migration (IOM); the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). 

For more information please contact Charbel Raji,

Language English Posted: Friday, December 21, 2018 - 13:35Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Global Compact on MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Photo: Rahma Soliman/IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Defending Migrants Rights and Dignity in Albania for 25 Years

Fri, 12/21/2018 - 06:40

Tirana – International Migrants Day (18 December) in Albania was celebrated by a high-level function attended by the country’s President, senior ministers and diplomats, who joined Regional Director Argentina Szabados to mark 25 years of IOM’s presence in the Balkan country.

President Ilar Meta led over 300 guests at a red-carpet reception in the centre of the capital Tirana, where a new three-year national migration strategy, elaborated with technical assistance from IOM, was launched.

“Migration is the defining trend in today’s world,” declared Szabados, noting the ongoing and complex population movements in the Western Balkans. “While Albania has not been as affected by the migration crisis as its neighbours, migration is still a dominant theme, with one third of your population living outside your borders, remitting more than 600 million Euro every year.”

She congratulated the Government and its partners on their constructive focus on the issue of migration, which she said reflected the spirit of cooperation and multilateralism which brought the Global Compact for Migration into existence.

Addressing the gathering, President Meta revisited themes he addressed in his speech to the special United Nations meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco earlier this month, when the Global Compact for Migration was formally adopted.

“All countries, whether origin, transit or destination, are touched by migration,” he said, adding that Albania’s experience showed that “we can only treat this phenomenon in partnership, because it is a very difficult and complex process. It is about human rights, children's rights, border management, financial costs, social cohesion, and sovereignty.”

The President cautioned against “allowing ourselves to be weakened by human mobility. Rather, we need to be empowered by creating a more humane, more dignified and secure mechanism to govern migration.”

IOM Albania’s Head of Office, Alma Jani, presented partners, including the EU, government officials, UN and NGOs with commemorative plaques.

Closing the event, Regional Director Szabados stressed the theme of International Migrants Day:

“Migrants rights are the same as ours, and on International Migrants Day we are calling for all migrants to be treated with dignity and respect for their human rights.”

For more information please contact Joe Lowry at Tel: +43 660 377640, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, December 21, 2018 - 13:20Image: Region-Country: AlbaniaThemes: International Migrants DayDefault: Multimedia: 

President Ilar Meta with IOM Albania head of office Alma Jani and Regional Director Argentina Szabados at a reception in Tirana on Tuesday night to commemorate 25 years of IOM presence in Albania. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Bamboo Treatment Plant Races to Repel Beetles Attacking Bangladesh Refugee Camps

Fri, 12/21/2018 - 06:36

Cox’s Bazar — Work has begun on one of the largest bamboo treatment plants ever installed in an emergency response, as IOM experts tackle a tiny insect that is devastating structures in the world’s biggest refugee settlement.

An infestation of “boring beetles” means the bamboo in almost every shelter in the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar – home to around 240,000 families – needs to be replaced. With just over four months to go until the beginning of the next monsoon season, the race is on to provide families living in the worst-affected shelters with new, more-durable bamboo.

To help meet the challenge, IOM has launched a new treatment facility in the south of Cox’s Bazar, which will be scaled up over coming weeks until it has the capacity to treat around 40,000 pieces of bamboo per month – sufficient to upgrade between 6,000 – 7,000 shelters.

“This is a major project, and one which will help ensure that the refugees do not have to live with the constant threat their shelters will collapse due to damaged bamboo,” said Manuel Pereira, IOM’s Emergency Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar.

Treatment at the plant relies on boron – a natural substance which will be filtered and recycled on site then reused to minimize environmental impact. Plant residue from the treatment process can be used as a fertilizer by nearby farms.

“We use bamboo because it’s cost effective and grows naturally in Bangladesh,” said Yoga Sofyar, a bamboo expert working with IOM, who helped establish the treatment plant. “But once the infestation became apparent, something had to be done. This affects many people and involves a significant amount of money, so we need an effective durable solution. But no one has done anything on this scale before. That has been the challenge.”

Almost a million Rohingya refugees are currently sheltering in Cox’s Bazar. They live in a rapidly constructed city of bamboo and tarpaulins built on the hills of a forested nature reserve in late 2017 after violence in Myanmar drove hundreds of thousands of people across the border into Bangladesh in just a few weeks.

During the emergency response in the weeks and months that followed, millions of pieces of bamboo were brought in from across the country to help build life-saving shelters and medical facilities. Bridges, steps and handrails were also built with bamboo to keep vital access ways open and to shore up vulnerable slopes.

But the scale and urgent need for supplies to upgrade shelters ahead of monsoon, meant organisations were forced to rely on young bamboo that is more susceptible to attack by insects.

“Even with the untreated bamboo IOM used, we would normally have expected the material to last between one to three years. But the infestation is so large and spread so quickly that within six months major damage had already taken place,” said Sofyar.

While the infestation was evident in the dusty residue that covered the bamboo under attack, identifying a solution was less easy. According to Sofyar, bamboo is a traditional construction material in Bangladesh, but its popularity has declined in recent years and there was not sufficient, high quality treated bamboo available.

The answer, IOM experts decided, was to treat the bamboo themselves. But first a suitable site had to be found, as well as a treatment method, that could practically be scaled up to meet the immense demand, with minimal environmental impact.

Following the identification of a site in the south of Cox’s Bazar – close enough to the camps to allow easy transportation, but outside the already overcrowded refugee settlement, a pilot project construction of the treatment facility was launched with funding from the UK, USA and Sweden. With the first four treatment tanks now operational, and a pilot project undertaken, expansion work is now underway.

Installation costs for the plant will be USD 500,000. Operational costs for the next 12 months to allow 100,000 families to upgrade the six core structural poles in their shelters will total USD 2 million.

The treatment extends the bamboo’s durability from months to many years. If shelters are taken down or moved, the treated bamboo can be reclaimed and reused for other purposes, according to Sofyar. “Once it is completed, this will be one of the largest bamboo treatment plants ever installed in an emergency response and we will share the knowledge and experience we have gained here with our partners in Bangladesh and other organisations around the world,” he noted.

The project has also been boosted by the efforts of Rohingya refugees working in a cash for work project. Many were skilled in bamboo craftmanship in Myanmar and are happy to be able to use techniques passed down to them through generations to use in their current situation.

“My father and grandfather used to work with bamboo and wood. In Myanmar I worked with my father and that is how I learned my skills,” said Mohammed Younus, one of the refugees working at the plant. “I feel good being able to do this work here and use my skills to earn some money for my family,” he added.

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

Language English Posted: Friday, December 21, 2018 - 13:25Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

Bamboo becomes insect-resistant when soaked in a chemical solution for 12 -14 days. Photo: IOM/Abdullah Mashrif

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

GMDAC Study: Better Evidence Needed to Inform Design and Implementation of Information Campaigns on Migration

Fri, 12/21/2018 - 06:34

Berlin A new report by IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) reveals the limited evidence base for information campaigns related to migration.

The report Evaluating the Impact of Information Campaigns in the Field of Migration reveals rigorous assessments of the effects different types of information campaigns may have on distinct target groups are rare – despite the widespread use of such campaigns targeted at potential migrants.

A 2017 IOM study revealed that over half of the migrants interviewed in IOM Niger transit centres in 2016 declared they did not collect information about migration before they left. Of those who did, 74 per cent reported that they were ill informed about the risks and, more generally, the conditions of the journey, and that they mostly relied on information from family and friends.

Migrants often start their journeys with little or biased information. They often end in vulnerable situations by becoming victims of smuggling or trafficking.

This new GMDAC report is based on a systematic literature review of 60 studies from four continents (Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe), targeted at potential migrants and traffickers, as well as communities at large. GMDAC reviewed 60 evaluation reports of which approximately half were published.

Workshop-type activities and cable TV programmes or advertisements were the most popular communication tools for the campaigns featured in the 60 studies, GMDAC learned. Many of these evaluations reported the number and profiles of campaign recipients or beneficiaries; in most cases, however, impact was not directly measured. Much of available evaluations were based on anecdotal evidence or cross-sectional surveys of a small number of participants, sampled at convenience, meaning the results cannot be generalized.

The lack of a clearly defined objective and/or target group for the information campaigns is one of the most common issues limiting evaluation attempts.

Assessing the impact of information campaigns can be methodologically difficult and costly, due to the intensive data collection required. However, robust evidence and systematic data collection are crucial to helping policy makers design more effective information campaigns on migration that meet the information needs of relevant target groups and, as such, reduce risks and vulnerabilities for migrants during their journeys.

Rigorous and transparent impact evaluations are needed to promote shared learning in this field. “Improving the evidence on the impact of information campaigns should be incentivized and more evaluations should be made public, regardless of their results,” said Jasper Tjaden, co-author of the study.

More rigorous impact evaluations are in line with Objective 3 of the recently adopted Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which stresses the importance of providing “accurate and timely information at all stages of migration” and calls for more “evidence-based information campaigns.”

This report is part of the Central Mediterranean Route (CMR) Thematic Report Series, launched by IOM’s GMDAC with the aim of providing accurate, comprehensive and policy-oriented information on key issues related to migration on the Central Mediterranean Route.

The series is published as part of the Safety, Support and Solutions programme implemented by IOM, funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID).

For more information please contact IOM GMDAC’s Jasper Dag Tjaden, Tel: +4930 27877822, Email: or Stylia Kampani, Tel: +493027877816, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, December 21, 2018 - 13:15Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: Migration ResearchDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, UNICEF, Release Results of New Flow Monitoring Exercise of Venezuelans in Perú

Fri, 12/21/2018 - 06:26

Lima – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) released the results of the fourth round of the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) about refugees and migrants from Venezuela in Perú this week (18/12).

The DTM, which was implemented between September and October this year, has information about the profile of the Venezuelans, their level of education and work experience, migratory routes and documentation, as well as a protection analysis.

The survey was implemented in the main official border points of arrival and departure: Tumbes, border with Ecuador, and Santa Rosa, in the border with Chile, where 2,148 people were surveyed.

Thanks to the technical collaboration of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), this survey included a section to learn about the characteristics of children and adolescents under 18 who are in transit. In addition, the interviewees were asked about the minors they left in Venezuela.

Among its main results, the survey shows that there is a slightly higher representation of males (53%) over females (47%) in the group of Venezuelans. The majority are young adults of active working age who have completed higher education levels in the areas of administration, science and engineering, and education.

The time spent on the routes of Peruvian cities before leaving Tacna ranges between 3 and 12 months. During their stay, most of the people surveyed perform some work activity, with an average salary of 309 US dollars, which varies by sex. Women earn 17 per cent less than men do.

Regarding the Venezuelans who stayed in a city for more than 30 days on the route, 46 per cent in Tumbes stated they had been discriminated, while in Tacna it was 39 per cent. The main reason for discrimination was their nationality.

According to the analysis carried out, the Venezuelans who arrive in Perú through Tumbes region are in an increasingly vulnerable situation. That is why they need assistance to cover their basic needs regarding food, hygiene, temporary accommodation and transportation to the cities of destination.

Additionally, according to the survey, Venezuelans need information about migration procedures, asylum application processes, access to health, education and work.

Almost a quarter of the groups of the Venezuelans surveyed travelled with a girl, boy or adolescent. The 38 per cent travelled with two or more minors, half of which were under 5 years old.

The possibility of presenting different documents to enter Perú has been a protection measure for minors, guaranteeing the preservation of union of the family, according to the people surveyed.

Perú is considered both a transit and a permanent country. The main cities of destination are Lima, La Libertad, Arequipa, Ancash and Tumbes.

The DTM activity was funded by the US State Department Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) and the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

Download the full DTM report: here.

For more information please contact Inés Calderón, IOM Perú, Tel: +51 997 580 915, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, December 21, 2018 - 13:10Image: Region-Country: PeruThemes: IOMDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

World Renowned Film Director Sissako Joins IOM Mauritania For International Migrants Day

Fri, 12/21/2018 - 06:24

Nouakchott – On 18 December, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Mauritania commemorated International Migrants’ Day in four transit migration-prone cities simultaneously. Distinguished guests at the Institut Français in Nouakchott included the internationally-acclaimed director of Timbuktu Abderrahmane Sissako, as well as representatives of IOM’s implementing partners, national authorities, migrants and members of the international community.

The evening started in Nouakchott with the screening of three short films – Integration, Yacine and Welcome –produced by local youth aged between 10 and 18 years old.

“Migrants are humans and they have the same rights as we do,” said Fatima, one of the young film makers whose movie was part of the official selection. Fatima took part in a three-week training on filmmaking around the theme Vivre Ensemble (“live together”) funded by the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration.

Mauritania, situated along the Western Mediterranean Route, is increasingly considered as a transit country for migrants hoping to reach Morocco and Europe. In this context, Sissako’s 2002 drama Heremakono (Waiting for Happiness) was also screened and followed by a debate among the 250 participants.

The film depicts stories of young migrants in Nouadhibou, one of the key transit points along the Western Mediterranean route. Sissako, a migrant himself, engaged the audience in a rich debate around the concepts of exile, homeland, return and reintegration into one’s society.

“These workshops are an innovative way of engaging students in the subject of migration and are part of IOM Mauritania’s broader awareness-raising campaign,” said Laura Lungarotti, IOM Mauritania Chief of Mission.

In Sebkha, on the outskirts of Nouakchott, a movie screening and a discussion on migration were also organized with local partners at a cultural youth centre where more than 300 young people were present.

“Mauritanian youth should invest in vocational training and education as well as have confidence in their future in the country,” said the Inspector of the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Sebkha.

Aside from Nouakchott, IOM celebrated International Migrants Day in Nema, Selibabi and Nouadhibou – where the organization has sub-offices. Each town hosted a film screening as well as cultural and social activities, with an average of 200 participants among migrants, national authorities and key stakeholders working on migration.

For more information please contact Alexandra Schmitz at IOM Mauritania:

Language English Posted: Friday, December 21, 2018 - 13:05Image: Region-Country: MauritaniaThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Teenagers attended a three-week filmmaking training in Mauritania. Photo: Ciré Ly

Teenagers attended a three-week filmmaking training in Mauritania. Photo: Ciré Ly

Film Director Sissako celebrated International Migrants Day in Mauritania. Photo: Ciré Ly

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Over 16,000 Cinephiles Visit CinemArena in Nigeria

Fri, 12/21/2018 - 06:21

Benin City – Wednesday (19/12) marked the official end of the CinemArena movie caravan in Nigeria. A total of 16,700 people attended 28 shows across the country, in Lagos, Benin and Delta States – the first-ever screenings organized by the caravan in Nigeria.

CinemArena is an itinerant education and information programme that aims to raise awareness of the risks of irregular migration and share information about opportunities for potential migrants in their home countries. The project is supported by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Development (AICS). Currently the caravan is in Nigeria carrying out its activities before it tours The Gambia, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire and Sudan in 2019.

This year’s theme for the CinemArena is ‘irregular migration’. In Nigeria, over 11,500 stranded migrants have voluntarily returned home since April 2017, predominantly from Libya and Niger, under the auspices of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration. Events also included workshops, theatre, dancing and other performances in both rural and urban settings.

The grand finale had 550 attendees including 15 stakeholders from Edo State Taskforce against Human Trafficking, National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment. Attendee Okojie Joy urged IOM not to relent in the enlightenment campaign on the risk of irregular migration. “To reduce the occurrence of irregular migration, government should provide basic amenities for Nigerian citizens and returned migrants should not be left to roam the streets,” she said. "Jobs should be created for people.”

“[NAPTIP] and IOM are coming to deepen your understanding of the issues, to let you see the dangers inherent in you travelling irregularly and equally give you information on the right and correct way of migrating if you must,” said Muhammed Momoh, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Coordinator of Lagos State, in his opening address.

During the launch in Benin City Chylian Azuh and Samuel Akanni, two Nigerian returnees from Libya, shared their testimonies with the audience. As part of the CinemArena activities in Lagos, close to 130 participants watched Granma, a short film produced by the Aware Migrants project.

CinemArena’s journey was followed by Overland, a production company based in Italy contracted by IOM to provide technical support throughout the implementation period.

The caravan arrived in Nigeria during the third edition of the Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF), which featured documentaries and films that capture stories of migration, and the unique contributions that migrants make to their new communities. In Nigeria, the GMFF held screenings of Bushfallers – A Journey of Chasing Dreams in Abuja, Benin City and Lagos. The documentary, directed by Nils Benjamin Keding, tries to elucidate the motivations of young Africans to migrate. The film festival was in line with the EU-IOM Joint Initiative, which aims to promote safe migration through community sensitization on irregular migration and human trafficking.

The 2018 edition of CinemArena is the result of a new collaboration between AICS, the Italian Ministry of Interior and IOM; it creates synergies with the Aware Migrants project which aims to inform migrants of the potential risks of the journey across the desert and the Mediterranean Sea.

For more information, please contact Jorge Galindo, IOM Nigeria, Tel: +234 803 645 2973, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, December 21, 2018 - 12:55Image: Region-Country: NigeriaThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Attendees at the CinemArena. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 113,145 in 2018; Deaths Reach 2,242

Fri, 12/21/2018 - 06:21

Geneva IOM, the International Organization for Migration, reports that 113,145 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 19 December. This year is the fifth straight during which the arrival of irregular migrants and refugees has topped the 100,000 threshold – although 2018’s total is low compared to those recorded at this time in 2017 (168,258) and 2016 (359,160). See Table 1

IOM Italy

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo on Thursday noted that all seaborne irregular arrivals to Italy through almost three weeks of December total just 115 men, women and children – indicating arrivals this month will likely be the lowest of any month since 2013. Arrivals for the entire Mediterranean region remain lower – by almost 7,000 people – than all arrivals last year to Italy alone. Through this date in 2017, Italy recorded 118,914 irregular arrivals of sea-borne migrants and refugees. Arrivals to Italy from North Africa this year are 23.126. 

IOM Spain

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Thursday 56,480 irregular migrants have reached Spain’s Mediterranean coasts through 19 December – a rate exceeding 1,000 per week through the year. Arrivals to Spain this year through 19 December account for 49.93 per cent of all Mediterranean irregular arrivals to Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Malta. With 12 days remaining in December, and arrivals this month to Spain averaging almost 160 persons daily, Spain may well surpass 58,000 arrivals for the year and likely account for over 50 per cent of all irregular arrivals in the region in 2018.

IOM Greece

IOM Greece reported Thursday (20/12/2018) that from Tuesday 18 December up to yesterday, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported at least one incident requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Samos. The HCG rescued a total of 44 migrants and transferred them to that island.

Those 44 – plus 243 arriving in Symi, Kos, Samos and Lesvos – bring to 31,310 the total number of irregular migrant sea arrivals to Greece through 19 December this year. That surpasses the total (29,501) arriving by sea through all last year (see Table 8.b). Additionally, over 16,600 irregular migrants have arrived this year in Greece by land.

IOM Cyprus

IOM Cyprus’ Dimitrios Tsagalas reported the arrivals last Thursday (13 December) of four migrants, all adult males from Syria, who turned themselves in at a Nicosia police stations. This week he reported two more arrivals. On Monday (17 December) 13 people – a Somali family described as “one female and 12 children|” was reported in Larnaca. On Wednesday (19 December) IOM Cyprus reported none males – eight Syrians, one from Iran) were reported at a police station in Nicosia. These latest arrivals bring to 1035 the number of irregular migrants arriving on the island from elsewhere in the Mediterranean. This is the second consecutive year such arrivals have surpassed 1,000 individuals (See chart below).

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reported Thursday the Mediterranean region continues to account for most deaths recorded globally, with 2,218 migrant deaths and disappearances recorded through 19 December 2018. However, MMP researchers insist any comparison between regions must take note of variations in data quality, and the caveat that data for some regions are highly incomplete.

Missing Migrants Project

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded 3,456 people who have died or gone missing on migratory routes across the globe in 2018.
Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrants’ deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.

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


Language English Posted: Friday, December 21, 2018 - 12:48Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

GMDAC: Over 6,600 Migration Deaths Recorded in Africa Since 2013 ‘Just the Tip of the Iceberg’

Tue, 12/18/2018 - 09:28

Berlin – Today (18/12) IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) will publish records from hundreds of eyewitness reports of deaths during migration in Africa, bringing the total number of deaths recorded on the continent to 1,386 this year.

MMP researchers explain that with these latest data, the total number of deaths of migrants confirmed on the continent is an estimated 6,615 in just the last five years.

The new records added today to 2018’s total – amounting to information on 1,014 previously unknown fatalities – are based on surveys conducted by the Mixed Migration Centre’s Monitoring Mechanism Initiative (4Mi). However, 4Mi’s surveys represent only a small fraction of the overall number of people on the move in Africa – meaning that these thousands of deaths are likely a substantial undercount of the true number. 

In the absence of official, systematic and intraregional information sources on migration flows in Africa, surveys such as those conducted by 4mi reveal important information about the experiences – including significant risks – that people face on routes within the continent.

Though much African migration is regular and takes places within Africa itself, the newly published evidence underscores the monumental risks that migrants can face on their journeys, and just how little we know about them.

“When people don’t have access to legal migration routes and few reliable records exist, would-be migrants face vulnerability at the hands of human traffickers and smugglers,” said Dr. Frank Laczko, Director of IOM’s Data Analysis Centre in Berlin, where the Missing Migrants Project is based.

Many of the deaths recorded by the Missing Migrants Project are concentrated on routes used by smugglers. Most migration deaths reported within Africa appear to have occurred while migrants are en route to Libya: deaths recorded since 2014 are predominately in the Sahara Desert, northern Niger, southern Libya, and northern Sudan.

The main causes of death recorded indicate that many migrant deaths in Africa are preventable. Starvation, dehydration, physical abuse, sickness and lack of access to medicines are causes of death frequently cited by the migrants who reported deaths on routes within Africa. Involvement with human smugglers and traffickers in human beings can put people in extremely risky situations in which they have little agency to protect themselves, let alone fellow travellers they see being abused.

It is nearly impossible to verify the identities of those who reportedly died or where they intended to migrate.  Missing Migrants Project data identify the deaths of 1,275 men, 534 women and 336 children and teens – which is less than one third of the 6,615 fatalities recorded in Africa in the last five years.  Beyond the age and gender of this small proportion of the dataset, little more is known about the deceased.

What is known is that the proportion of migrants who reportedly witnessed the death of a fellow traveller is alarmingly high: 16 per cent of migrants interviewed by 4Mi in East Africa in 2018 reported having done so, as well as 12 per cent of those surveyed in North Africa. Just under 6 per cent of those surveyed in West Africa had similarly witnessed a death.

Multiple interviewees reported witnessing the deaths of their fellow migrants on several occasions. Very little support is provided to migrants who have witnessed such traumatic events.

“People who witness fellow migrants die often have no way to report what they have seen, not to mention experiencing significant psychosocial stress,” said Dr. Laczko.  “When you consider that survey results may be the only evidence of these deaths, it is clear that these records represent the tip of the iceberg and that the human loss of life is of unknown proportions.”

While survey data represent one of the few sources of information on deaths during migration in Africa, they are largely unverifiable. However (as IOM recommends in its most recent volume of the  Fatal Journeys report series), in areas where few institutions collect data on missing migrants – or where access is an issue – surveys can provide crucial data on deaths and the risks people face during migration.

The Missing Migrants Project records migrant deaths that take place during migration journeys, which means that the deaths of people in detention centres, those who are displaced in their own country or whose deaths may be connected to their irregular status in other countries, are not included.  Reports of missing people are also not included. To avoid double counting the same incidents, IOM staff do not record reports that may be duplicates.

However, the lack of official and unofficial reports on deaths during migration and the relatively small number of migrants surveyed in Africa indicate that MMP data in Africa represent a minimum estimate of the true number of migrant deaths. 

For the latest data on migrant deaths in Africa, visit the Missing Migrants Project website here. Anonymized Missing Migrants Project data can be downloaded from

For more information please contact:  Julia Black, Missing Migrants Project. Tel: +49 3027-8778 27. Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - 15:25Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

An estimated 6,615 deaths during migration reported in Africa in the last five years. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Star-studded Award Ceremony for Global Migration Film Festival in Cairo

Tue, 12/18/2018 - 09:24

Cairo – Today, on International Migrants Day, the Global Migration Film Festival draws to a close at the historic Al-Manial Palace in Cairo, Egypt, culminating the most successful edition held so far. 

A truly worldwide festival run by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in partnership with United Nations Information Centres worldwide, it has already seen 558 screenings take place in 161 cities and over 103 countries, a number that is up 50 per cent from last year. 

Drawing on volunteers from the IOM and its partners wherever it takes place, this year’s festival showcases dramas, comedies, as well as gritty documentaries that bring the reality of the migrant experience to the silver screen. Over 800 films were submitted for possible inclusion in this year’s festival, IOM’s third. 

IOM’s regional office for the Middle East, one of nine such offices globally, hosts this year’s festival under the auspices of Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

 “We selected Cairo to be the first capital outside IOM’s Geneva headquarters to host the closing awards ceremony of this important festival in recognition of Egypt’s leading cultural and political role in the Middle East and North Africa region as well as in the African continent, and in particular its leadership in migration governance,” said Carmela Godeau, IOM Regional Director for MENA. 

Opening the ceremony in Cairo is a live music show, followed by welcoming addresses by high-level governmental and IOM representatives, and the award ceremony. 

The event’s Guest of Honour will be Egyptian superstar and UN Goodwill Ambassador Yosra. “I am proud to support such a great initiative highlighting the important role cinema plays in building bridges through telling stories that give viewers a glimpse into the lives, circumstances and feelings of others.” said Yosra.  

The evening will also include side photo exhibitions by IOM and the United Nations Information Center (UNIC). 

Al-Manial Palace is said to have been built for Prince Mohammad Ali between 1899 and 1929. He had the Palace designed in a style integrating European Art Nouveau and Rococo with many traditional Islamic architecture styles including Ottoman, Moorish, and Persian. Historically, the Prince’s family had hosted lectures, concerts and poetry readings in the vast venue and gardens.  

The palace and estate have been preserved by the Antiquities Council, as a historic house, museum and estate, reflecting the settings and lifestyle of the late 19th- and early 20th-century Egyptian royal family. 

“We’re pleased to host the GMFF closing ceremony at such a historic and culturally vibrant venue; and to honour the aesthetic of the place we’ve tailored a lively and culturally bound evening. Our ceremony will bring together a big number of celebrities with governmental representatives, diplomats, United Nations representatives, international partners, and the private sector,” said Laurent De Boeck, IOM Egypt’s Chief of Mission. 

Updates will be provided throughout the day on the following platforms: 

  • RO Cairo’s Social Media Pages: Twitter: @IOM_MENA; Facebook: @IOM.MENA
  • IOM Egypt’s Social Media Pages: Twitter: @iominegypt; Facebook: @IOMEgypt 

For more information, please contact Farah Abdul Sater, Tel: +201060351567, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - 15:50Image: Region-Country: EgyptThemes: Global Migration Film FestivalDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Bangladeshi Survivors of Andaman Sea Crisis Find New Livelihoods in Hydroponic Farming

Tue, 12/18/2018 - 09:18

Dhaka – IOM has established three large-scale vegetable farms equipped with hydroponic farming technologies to support the sustainable economic reintegration of a group of Bangladeshi migrants who returned home after the 2015 Andaman Sea crisis. 

During the crisis, thousands of young Bangladeshis left the country by sea in search of better job opportunities in Malaysia. Many fell into the hands of traffickers and smugglers and suffered terrible exploitation and abuse. Eventually, IOM, in partnership with the Bangladeshi, Malaysian, Thai and Indonesian authorities, managed to help 2,813 of them to return home. 

IOM then supported 200 returnees with psychosocial counselling and reintegration assistance, which led to the creation of a community-based social enterprise model called Returnees Economic Development (RED). 

The hydroponic vegetable farms were established through RED and operate in a shared ownership business model, jointly owned by the returnees and a managing local entity. While the local partner organizations serve as a managing body, over 80 per cent of the shares are held by the returnees, giving them ownership and the stability needed to sustain the project in the long run. 

“One particular issue returnees face is the lack of sustainable solutions that help them to become more resilient and self-dependent,” said Sharon Dimanche, IOM’s Deputy Chief of Mission in Bangladesh. “Through RED, these returnees are brought into a business cycle that increases their accountability and efficiency in the long run due to its unique structure.” 

Hydroponics, which allow farmers to grow crops in greenhouses faster than traditional methods, without using soil or chemical fertilizers, is relatively new to Bangladesh. Each farm involved a capital investment of approximately USD 8,300 and is expected to break even within three to four years.  

Despite efforts to promote safe, orderly, demand-driven migration, many poor Bangladeshis continue to opt for irregular land and sea routes. The reasons often include lack of information and exploitation by unscrupulous middlemen.   

For more information please contact Chowdhury Asif Mahmud Bin Harun at IOM Bangladesh, Email:, Tel. +880 1755509476

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - 15:45Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

A hydroponic vegetable farm in Narshingdi, Bangladesh produces 4.2 tonnes of vegetables every three months. Photo: IOM 2018 

A hydroponic vegetable farm in Narshingdi, Bangladesh produces 4.2 tonnes of vegetables every three months. Photo: IOM 2018 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Help Us Help More Lets IOM Supporters Assist Vulnerable Venezuelans

Tue, 12/18/2018 - 09:16

Geneva – In line with the global theme for International Migrants Day 2018, Migration with Dignity, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) calls on the public to take action and help support vulnerable migrants in Latin America and the Caribbean.

With rising demands of the global migration crisis, IOM is reaching out to sympathetic and motivated allies of migrants to be part of the solution. First of a series of IOM’s call-to-action campaigns, Help us, Help more will share stories of dignity, strength and resilience of migrants on the move, and will encourage individuals to support vulnerable migrants along their journeys through online donations.

There are three million refugees and migrants from Venezuela, of which 2.4 million have left their homes and livelihoods behind, in the last three years, in search of a better future. Traveling by air, road or on foot, on average 5,500 Venezuelans have been leaving the country every day in 2018.

Emily Durán, 39, from Valencia, Venezuela, travelled over 1,700 kilometres to Cali, Colombia, where she was making a temporary stop before heading to the Colombia-Ecuador border town of Ipiales. There IOM spoke to her about her six-week long journey. Her story is one of many thousands:

“There were many difficult times on the way,” she explained. “I walked from Cúcuta to Cali… We had to sleep on the streets and had to keep walking for kilometres. It felt like we would never arrive.”

Watch the full interview here

Most of the refugees and migrants from Venezuela have opted to stay in Colombia. Nonetheless, many are like Durán, and are making plans to move onward to Ecuador, Perú, Chile or Argentina. Brazil, México, and select Central American and Caribbean countries also have received Venezuelans. These trends are likely to continue in 2019.

“Some days I wish I hadn’t left my country, just to face even more troubles,” adds Durán about her hardship due to her displacement. IOM missions in the field provide lifesaving assistance to Venezuelan refugees and migrants through distribution of food, medicine, and emergency kits. In some countries IOM works to assist Venezuelans seeking temporary housing, in other countries IOM operates transit shelters. Family reunification and cultural integration of Venezuelans, also part of IOM’s mission, help ease the transition into their new lives.

Host communities and government have been generous with their support. But we need to do more: Help us, Help more

For more information please contact Deepika Nath at IOM Geneva, Tel: +41766302529, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - 15:40Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM encourages individuals to support vulnerable migrants along their journeys through online donations. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Afghanistan Launches National Referral Mechanism and Online Database to Combat Human Trafficking

Tue, 12/18/2018 - 09:14

Kabul – Afghanistan, with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and IOM, has launched a National Referral Mechanism and Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Online Database to strengthen counter-trafficking protection measures in the country. Participants at Sunday’s (16/12) Kabul launch included Afghan government officials from the High Level Trafficking in Persons Commission, representatives of counter-trafficking-related national and international NGOs, UN agencies and media. 

“By passing a new trafficking law, finalizing the national referral mechanism and developing an online database of victims, we have created a good foundation to respond to human trafficking in a more comprehensive way. I hope this will assist victims of trafficking with services they deserve,’’ said Afghan Justice Minister and the Chair of the TIP High Commission Dr. Abdul Basir Anwar. “All stakeholders in Afghanistan need to work together to protect victims and prosecute traffickers,” he noted. 

USAID Acting Deputy Mission Director Elizabeth Chambers told delegates that women, men and children from economically marginalized communities are at the greatest risk of trafficking in Afghanistan. 

“Trafficking in persons affects the most vulnerable in our societies, particularly women and youth.  USAID and the US government will continue to stand with the Afghan people against these horrific practices that undermine the rule of law, corrupt global commerce, foster gender inequality and threaten global security,” she said. 

IOM Afghanistan Chief of Mission and Special Envoy Laurence Hart noted that due to the absence of a centralized national database and referral mechanism, counter-trafficking stakeholders in Afghanistan are often not able to identify, refer and assist the victims of trafficking properly. 

“This national referral mechanism and online database will help the Afghan government strengthen protection measures and effectively implement the new law to combat the trafficking and smuggling of people,” he said. 

The US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2018 noted that Afghanistan is a source, transit and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sexual exploitation. More internal than cross-border trafficking occurs in Afghanistan. But in recent years IOM has observed a steady increase in young women 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, highlighting the importance of trans-border cooperation to identify and assist victims. 

For more information please contact Eva Schwoerer at IOM Afghanistan. Tel: + 93 729 229 129.  Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - 16:13Image: Region-Country: AfghanistanThemes: Human SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

Afghan, USAID and IOM officials launch the National Referral Mechanism and TIP Online Database in Kabul. Photo: IOM.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 111,558 in 2018; Deaths Reach 2,217

Tue, 12/18/2018 - 09:13

Geneva – IOM, the International Organization for Migration, reports that 111,558 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 16 December. This year is the fifth straight during which the arrival of irregular migrants and refugees has topped the 100,000 threshold – although 2018’s total is low compared to those recorded at this time in 2017 (167,916) and 2016 (358,018)  (See Table 1). 

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded 2,217 people have died this year crossing the Mediterranean on one of three major sea routes. The Mediterranean continues to account for the clear majority of deaths recorded globally. However, it is important to note that there are few reliable sources of information on deaths during migration, which means that data for some regions – including the Mediterranean – are likely incomplete.

In the Western Mediterranean, Spanish rescue services retrieved the body of a man 28 miles off the coast of Ceuta, Spain on 6 December. The Missing Migrants Project team has documented the deaths of 744 people in the waters between North Africa and Spain, compared with 224 on this route through the full year 2017. The team reports that there has been a consistent increase in the number of migrant deaths recorded in the Western Mediterranean each year since IOM began keeping track.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 4,476 people who have died or gone missing on migratory routes across the globe in 2018 (see Table 3).

In the Americas, two deaths have been added to the MMP data base since last week. On 8 December, a seven-year-old girl from Guatemala died shortly after crossing the border into New Mexico. She had travelled through Mexico to the US southern border with her father, with the aim of seeking asylum in the US. She died in a hospital in El Paso, Texas of dehydration and septic shock. On 12 December, the body of a man was found on the Río Bravo near Miguel Alemán, in Mexico’s state of Tamaulipas.

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrants' deaths and disappearances are collected, click here

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

See contacts here

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - 15:30Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Refugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Nepali Local Government Partner to Build Multi-Purpose Evacuation Centre

Tue, 12/18/2018 - 09:01

Kathmandu – IOM and Changu Narayan Municipality in Bhaktapur District in the Kathmandu Valley have begun work on a multi-purpose evacuation centre to accommodate displaced people in the event of a disaster.

The initiative is part of an IOM project: People to People Support for Building Community Resilience through Recovery and Reconstruction in Nepal (P2P) funded by the Royal Thai Government.  

Earthquakes strike with special ferocity in this mountainous country. The 2015 earthquakes in Nepal displaced approximately 2.8 million people. Some 117,700 people in the 14 worst affected districts were forced to find shelter in makeshift camps. The year before, in August 2017, incessant rainfall resulted in flooding across 35 of Nepal’s 77 districts. More than 190,000 houses were destroyed or partially damaged, displacing tens of thousands of people and rendering many homeless.

In August 2008, Nepal was hit by floods that affected 42,765 persons within 7,563 households in the eastern districts of Sunsari and Saptari, following the collapse of the Koshi River embankment – Asia's largest river basin.

Thai Ambassador to Nepal Bhakavat Tanskul, IOM Chief of Mission Paul Norton and Changu Narayan Municipality Mayor Som Prasad Mishra attended the ground-breaking ceremony, which took place last Friday (14 December) at Helmet Danda, Bhaktapur. District officials and representatives of the Ministry of Urban Development, the Armed Forces and the community also participated.

Addressing the event, Ambassador Bhakavat said: “Today’s ground-breaking ceremony is an auspicious moment for our two countries. It represents Thailand’s support to strengthen disaster risk reduction and empower Nepali people in (this) disaster-prone area… The funds for this project came from the Thai people under the Thai Heart for Nepal programme to help Nepal recover from the 2015 earthquake."

“Post-earthquake reconstruction work in Nepal is an opportunity to incorporate risk reduction measures, while rebuilding damaged infrastructure to eliminate pre-existing vulnerabilities. We have to increase resilience to future hazards in this highly disaster-prone country,” said IOM Chief of Mission Paul Norton.

“This pre-designated, multi-hazard resistant community centre will be used to host displaced people, giving priority to the most vulnerable, including pregnant women, children, people with special needs and the elderly,” he added.

The centre will also serve as a venue for community activities, including women’s and youth groups, community-based training, recreational pursuits, adult literacy classes, information dissemination and income generating activities.

In the Kathmandu Valley open spaces previously identified by the authorities with support from IOM immediately became camp cities. Some remaining infrastructure such as schools and community buildings were also used for immediate shelter, medical and humanitarian assistance.

Changu Narayan Municipality Mayor Som Prasad Mishra said that the evacuation centre would be another stepping stone towards his municipality’s commitment to build a disaster-resilient community. He thanked Thailand and IOM for their support for the municipality’s disaster preparedness, disaster risk reduction and resilience efforts.

IOM plans to build similar multi-purpose structures in seven other municipalities in earthquake affected districts – Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Gorkha, Dhading, Rasuwa, Sindhupalchowk and Dolakha. UNDP and other humanitarian agencies have agreed to provide water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.

For more information please contact:
Paul I. Norton at IOM Nepal, Tel: +97714426250, Email: Or Ministry of Urban Development, Department of Urban Development & Building Construction, Tel: +977 1 4211673, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - 15:59Image: Region-Country: NepalThemes: ResettlementDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM, Thai and Nepali officials take part in the groundbreaking ceremony for an evacuation center at Changu Narayan Municipality in Bhaktapur District, Nepal. Photo: IOM 2018 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Holds Workshop on Alternatives to Detention in Libya

Tue, 12/18/2018 - 08:59

Tripoli – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), with technical support from the International Detention Coalition (IDC), ran a workshop, Practices and Procedures of Alternatives to Detention in Libya, last week in Tripoli. 

Stakeholders from the Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Interior (DCIM), the Libyan Coast Guard and embassies of countries of origin of migrants in Libya discussed alternatives to detention (ATD) in Libya to enhance early identification and protection of vulnerable migrants, particularly for unaccompanied and separated children. 

In a context where migrants residing in or transiting through Libya are frequently transferred to detention centres, IOM seeks to promote and operationalize alternatives that allow for a more rights-based and protection-sensitive management of migration flows. 

Officials from the Ministry of Social Affairs shared IOM’s concern about the continued detention of children and encouraged a closer collaboration with IOM and the Ministry of Interior to end the detention of children. 

‘’It is important to uphold basic child protection principles, such as the right to a safe learning environment,” said Mabrouka al-Ouzoumi, Head of the Women Welfare Department in the Ministry of Social Affairs. She called on the humanitarian community to work with Libyan authorities to establish alternatives to detention for children. 

During the workshop, participants discussed practical procedures for identifying and transferring migrants from disembarkation points and detention centres to alternative housing. They put forward concrete recommendations to a draft strategic roadmap on alternatives to detention. 

IOM Libya and IDC began co-drafting this roadmap in 2018 to address the arbitrary detention of migrants and identify alternatives to detention. 

‘’Complementing our ongoing work, the new strategy includes advocacy and coordination, capacity building and technical support and operationalising alternatives to detention on the ground. It is designed to support the most vulnerable migrants in extremely challenging situations,’’ said Insaf Mounadi, IOM Libya’s Protection Officer on Alternatives to Detention. 

In partnership with IDC, IOM also briefed the participants on the six-month capacity-building plan on alternatives to detention for Libyan officials and consular authorities. A series of courses will train frontline staff to conduct vulnerability assessments and screen migrants eligible for alternatives. 

This workshop, funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, makes way for the increased focus IOM will place on alternatives to detention in 2019. 

For more information please contact Maya Abu Ata at IOM Libya, Tel: +218 91 002 4839, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Karolina Edsbacker, IOM Libya’s Protection Officer, facilitating the workshop. Photo: IOM/Elnakua 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN