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Emphasising Migrant Health at WHO Istanbul Gathering

PBN News Germany - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 10:19

Istanbul – IOM’s Vienna Regional Office put migration health at the forefront during a three-day high-level technical meeting and ministerial consultation of the World Health Organization European Region in Istanbul last week.  

Ministers from 53 countries shared the platform with technical experts as they discussed a global plan to improve public health preparedness and response for all health hazards. The initiative requires high-level political and financial commitment to address the full cycle of emergency management. 

Dr Jaime Calderon, IOM’s Senior Health Advisor for South-eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia spoke on a high-level panel about the need for migrant health to be included in the global initiative.  

“Health is integrated in the overall humanitarian response of IOM, particularly in natural disasters where IOM is a Camp Coordination and Management cluster lead,” Dr Calderon told the audience of ministers and experts.  

He pointed to Libya, where IOM provides life-saving health care services to more than 15,000 migrants living in and outside of detention centres, as well as countries in Jordan, Syria and across the Middle East. In South Sudan, IOM established and supports delivery of mental health and psychosocial support services for displaced people, he added, also citing examples in Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria.   

In the Europe region, said Dr Calderon, IOM works with the health cluster supporting WHO, governments and other key actors in addressing health needs of migrants since the start of the European migration crisis.  IOM is present in Ukraine, in the Western Balkans, Turkey and countries in Western Europe supporting delivery of health services, including mental health services to migrants and refugees. 

“We provide comprehensive migrant health care and prevention services during the crisis and throughout the movement process – at the pre-departure stage, during travel and transit and upon return based on existing health systems and evidence-based needs assessment,” he concluded. 

Dr Dorit Nitzan, Coordinator for Health Emergencies, WHO Regional Office for Europe was encouraged by the progress made around the issue. “It is clear that the International Health Regulations (2005) are more relevant than ever, and it is encouraging to see that countries are prioritizing and building their national capacities to prevent, detect and respond to all types of health threats.” 

For more information, please contact Joe Lowry at IOM’s Regional Office in Vienna, Tel: +436603776404, Email: jlowry@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 17:13Image: Region-Country: TurkeyThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Livestock Farming in Burkina Faso: A Reintegration Opportunity for 99 Returning Migrants

PBN News Germany - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 10:13

Ouagadougou – Livestock equals wealth. It’s the timeless equation of existence in rural Africa, as true today as it was thousands of years ago, when families began their long journey across the planet, always looking for better lands to thrive in.   

Thus, livestock also signifies something deeper: community, culture, a commitment to traditional values and family values – all crucial tools in restoring vulnerable migrants to lives of purpose and dignity after they return to their homes, especially from a failed migration that may leave the returnee hopelessly in debt. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with the Government of Burkina Faso, and with funding from the European Union, is supporting the establishment of livestock farmer groups in Burkina Faso. 

In Centre-East and Centre-South of Burkina Faso, the two main regions of origin for migrants leaving this country, IOM has provided about 500 sheep, rams, oxen and donkeys to 99 Burkinabè who returned from Libya and Algeria in 2018 to ensure their socio-economic reintegration in the country. 

To support their sustainable reintegration, the returnees received – in addition to this in-kind assistance – training in business management, cooperative operation and livestock farming techniques. The training sessions, provided throughout the year by the technical partners of the National Employment Agency (ANPE) and the Regional Directorates of Animal and Fisheries Resources, have enabled them to acquire the necessary skills to ensure the sustainability of their activities. 

“The training enabled me to learn the techniques of cattle fattening. Visiting the farms not only allowed us to put in practice farming techniques, but also to see that fattening, if conducted according to the techniques, is efficient,” says Iryassa, from the Centre-South Region.  

“Farmers gave us useful tips,” he added. “Now we can work in our country and, thank God, we will succeed. It is better to have 500,000 CFA in your country than millions abroad.” 

Osseni, another Burkinabé migrant who returned in September 2017, received reintegration assistance. He is from the Central-East Region of the country and had sold everything to go to Libya. 

“I started up my livestock farming activities with the support of IOM, which bought me oxen and equipment. I like livestock farming because I achieve success and it has helped me to build my house. My parents are very happy to see me back home alive,” he explained. 

In 2018, 1249 Burkinabé migrants received reintegration assistance under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration. Funded by the European Union, this project aims to contribute to the strengthening of migration governance, protection, assisted voluntary return and sustainable reintegration of returning migrants. 

For more information, please contact Andreas De Boer, at IOM Burkina Faso, Tel: +226 74 93 81 28; Email: adeboer@iom.int 

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 17:06Image: Region-Country: Burkina FasoThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationCapacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

The random drawing for the distribution of cattle. Returned migrants had to pick a slip of paper from a bag to find out what cattle they would win. Photo: IOM/Alexander Bee

The random drawing for the distribution of cattle. Returned migrants had to pick a slip of paper from a bag to find out what cattle they would win. Photo: IOM/Alexander Bee

The random drawing for the distribution of cattle. Returned migrants had to pick a slip of paper from a bag to find out what cattle they would win. Photo: IOM/Alexander Bee

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 8,058 in 2019; Deaths Reach 217

PBN News Germany - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 10:06

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 8,058 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first 58 days of 2019, about a 10 per cent decrease from the 8,807 arriving during the same period last year.  

Deaths on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through over eight weeks of the year are at 217 individuals, compared with 432 deaths during the same period in 2018. 

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

See contacts here.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 16:58Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

United Nations Seeks USD 920 Million for Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis in 2019

PBN News Germany - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 10:45

Geneva – United Nations aid agencies and NGO partners launched today (15/02) the 2019 Joint Response Plan (JRP) for the Rohingya humanitarian crisis. The appeal seeks to raise USD 920 million to meet the massive needs of more than 900,000 refugees from Myanmar and over 330,000 vulnerable Bangladeshis in host communities.

Critical aid and services such as food, water, sanitation and shelter represent more than half of the funding needs this year. Other key sectors of the appeal include health, site management, protection activities including child protection and addressing sexual and gender-based violence, education and nutrition.

More than 745,000 Rohingya refugees have fled from Myanmar’s Rakhine State to Bangladesh since August 2017, escaping violence in Myanmar and joining roughly 200,000 others already displaced in the Cox’s Bazar area by previous cycles of violence.

With the generosity and support of the Bangladeshi authorities and local communities, who were the first to respond to the emergency, critical needs were met, and many lives were saved.

“The solidarity shown by the Government of Bangladesh and the commitment of humanitarian partners ensured the successful implementation of the first Joint Response Plan in 2018. Moving forward, we reiterate our commitment to meeting the dire needs of this population and urge the international community to support these efforts,” said International Organization for Migration Director General António Vitorino.

“Our humanitarian imperative today is to stabilise the situation of stateless Rohingya refugees and their Bangladesh hosts. We are hoping for timely, predictable and flexible contributions in order to meet the goals of this year’s appeal,” said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. “But while we tackle these immediate humanitarian needs, we must not lose sight of solutions. I repeat my call to Myanmar to take urgent action to address the root causes of this crisis which have persisted for decades, so that people are no longer forced to flee and can eventually return home in safety and dignity. We encourage countries in this region and beyond to show solidarity with Bangladesh and to support Myanmar to start creating conditions for voluntary, safe and dignified return of Rohingya,” Grandi continued.

The new JRP sets out a comprehensive humanitarian effort shaped around three strategic objectives. By bringing together 132 partners – UN agencies, international and national NGOs and government bodies in a collective effort – the Plan aims to deliver protection to refugee women, men, girls and boys, provide life-saving assistance and foster social cohesion.

The 2019 JRP is the second such appeal and builds on humanitarian achievements made thus far in order to further stabilize the situation of Rohingya refugees.

Over the past 12 months aid agencies have worked to improve the conditions across refugee settlements through the support provided under the 2018 JRP – providing basic assistance, upgrading living conditions in the camps and putting in place disaster risk mitigation measures for monsoon and cyclone seasons.

The environmental impact of the influx has been reduced, through efforts such as reducing the demand for firewood through the provision of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) as an alternative cooking and heating fuel.

The prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition, at emergency levels in late 2017, has now dropped below the emergency threshold (from 19 per cent to 12 per cent), food security has improved, immunization coverage has grown to 89 per cent, and women delivering their babies in health facilities has risen from 22 per cent to 40 per cent.

Despite these and other achievements, the Rohingya remain in an extremely precarious situation, highlighting the importance of sustained support.  Until root causes of displacement in Myanmar are addressed and refugees are able to voluntarily return in safety and dignity, support must be provided to the Bangladeshi authorities to meet the needs of refugees and the host communities.

For example, the entire refugee population received basic emergency shelter kits to help them cope with the rainy season in 2018, but safer and more robust shelters are now required. Around 860,000 refugees regularly receive food assistance, yet only 240,000 are able to diversify their diet beyond the minimum package of rice, lentils and oil. These resources must be expanded to ensure their nutrition and health. Similarly, continued investments into safe water and sanitation, health and protection services are vital.

For more information, please contact:

For IOM:
Leonard Doyle, IOM Geneva. Tel: + 41 79 285 7123, Email: ldoyle@iom.int or
Joel Millman, IOM Geneva. Tel:  +41 79 103 8720. Email: jmillman@iom.int

For UNHCR:
Andrej Mahecic, mahecic@unhcr.org, +41 22 739 8347 (desk), +41 79 642 9709 (mobile)

Language English Posted: Friday, February 15, 2019 - 17:43Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Rohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM distributes shelter materials to Rohingya refugees in Kutupalong settlement, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: IOM/Olivia Headon 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Containing the Ebola Outbreak at the Crossroads of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

PBN News Germany - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 10:43

Kinshasa – The tenth Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has taken the lives of more than 500 people and resulted in more than 760 confirmed cases since it was declared more than six months ago. The current outbreak is the second largest in history, developing in the east of the country where long-standing insecurity, armed conflicts and instability challenge the humanitarian and public health response.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is calling on the international community to support its USD 12 million appeal to assist government and humanitarian partners to contain the disease before it claims more lives and spreads across borders.

Since the start of the deadly outbreak, the Organization has supported the government to screen more than 32 million travellers and to operate 80 screening points in areas of high population mobility, such as markets, parking areas and along major key transport routes.

In partnership with the Congolese Ministry of Health, particularly the National Programme of Hygiene at Borders (PNHF), and the World Health Organization (WHO), IOM implements surveillance and prevention activities, utilizing mobility trends to minimize disease transmission to new areas and across borders. IOM also trains frontline workers to detect illness among travellers, provides essential equipment and supplies to screening points and strengthens the capacity of PNHF to oversee screening activities.

Currently, the outbreak is just a day’s drive from Goma, the capital of North Kivu inhabited by over one million people, as well as neighbouring countries: Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan. In areas with such high mobility, screening sites can be the last bastion.

Located throughout North Kivu and Ituri, as well as in other provinces not affected by the disease, screening points are important to prevent the spread of the disease and to strengthen the capacity of other provinces to detect and respond to cases. The Organization has deployed around 800 workers to support these efforts significantly minimizing disease transmission both inside and outside the country. 

“Fighting Ebola is a race against the clock. It is a battle that we cannot lose,” said Fabien Sambussy, Head of IOM Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

At the screening points, travellers go through a process that includes observation for symptoms of illness, temperature checking, hand-washing and a review of Ebola risk factors, such as traveling to an Ebola-affected zone or attending a funeral for someone who died of Ebola.

As travellers are screened, they receive key messages about the risks of Ebola, how to prevent it, and what to do if travelling while sick. Additionally, at seven priority screening points, IOM assists in finding people who have been in contact with affected cases and might have contracted the disease.

“We are very happy about the work they (IOM) are doing for us towards fighting the Ebola disease. They have set up hand-washing facilities. They have sensitized us on how to protect ourselves from contracting Ebola. They tell us not to eat meat from dead animals in the forest. They tell us not to touch any sick person without protective equipment used by doctors,” said Kabyaura Koleki, a fish trader from Tchomia, Ituri.

With funding exhausted in January 2019, IOM’s critical activities are now at risk. The third Ebola Strategic Response Plan (SRP 3), officially launched by Dr Oly Ilunga Kalenga, Minister of Public Health, on 13 February 2019, presents a strengthened plan to contain the disease within the next six months. IOM remains committed to supporting the government in its efforts to save lives and end the epidemic.

For more information, please contact Charlotte Lepri at IOM DRC, E-mail: clepri@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 15, 2019 - 17:41Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

EU, IOM Support Belarus-Ukraine Border Demarcation and Security

PBN News Germany - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 10:41

Minsk/Kyiv – Belarus and Ukraine’s common border, which includes the marshes and forests of the zone contaminated by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, is set to be fully demarcated and improved thanks to a new initiative between IOM and the European Union.

The EUR 6.7 million project announced in Minsk this week will support the border demarcation process, improving infrastructure at the crossing points and strengthen bilateral cooperation and coordination between the two countries.

The demarcation of the 1,084 km border has been pending for over 20 years, since Minsk and Kyiv signed a State Border Treaty back in 1997. Until now, 784 kilometres have been marked with temporary border signs, while about one-third of the boundary still lacks any physical signs.

The Delegation of the European Union to Belarus, assisted by IOM experts, will procure a wide range of assets needed for demarcation works at the Belarus-Ukraine border to be carried out including vehicles, radiation detection and construction equipment, border signs and buoys, other relevant tools and machinery.

“Border demarcation might seem to be a purely technical process, implementing the agreements that were already reached at the political and legislative level; however, the absence of a clearly demarcated border contributes to the vulnerability of the Belarus-Ukraine border, and, in a way, the eastern border of the EU at large,” said Outa Hermalahti, Project Manager at the EU Delegation to Belarus. “It creates the preconditions for trans-border crime, such as drugs, weapons, and migrant smuggling.”

In addition to the border demarcation support, a new X-ray station will be installed at the Novaya Huta border crossing point to mitigate the risks of illegal cross-border movements. Novaya Huta in Belarus, and Novi Yarylovychi in Ukraine, are the busiest adjacent border crossing points in the region, and a part of the Helsinki–Alexandroupolis Pan-European Transport Corridor.

The information obtained by the Belarusian customs authorities via the new X-ray complex will be shared with their Ukrainian colleagues using the existing electronic system of pre-arrival information exchange (PRINEX), launched under a previous EU/IOM project.

The EU and IOM will also facilitate the development of a specialised mobile application, allowing travellers to follow the situation at the border, and get information on crossing procedures.

For more information please contact:
Olga Borzenkova at IOM Belarus, Tel: +375 17 288 27 42, E-mail: oborzenkova@iom.int
Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine, Tel: +38 044 568 50 15, E-mail: vzhluktenko@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 15, 2019 - 17:39Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Integrated Border ManagementMigrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

Travelling by car from Kyiv to Minsk through “Novi Yarilovychi” border crossing point, Ukraine, (pictured), and “Novaya Huta”, Belarus, will be facilitated within the new IOM project. Photo: IOM 

IOM Reporter: Outa Hermalahti
 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Monitors New Caravans of Central American Migrants in Mexico

PBN News Germany - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 10:39

Chiapas – A survey conducted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) between 25-30 January near the border crossing flanked by Tecún Umán (Guatemala) and Suchiate (Mexico) revealed that just over half (51.6%) of approximately 5,000 Central American migrants waiting at that border crossing to receive the humanitarian card of the Mexican government, only left their country as part of the ‘migrant caravans’.

Between January 14 and 16, migrants from Honduras and El Salvador left their homes with the hope of reaching Mexico and the United States of America, in the first ‘migrant caravans’ of 2019.

In response to the situation, the government of Mexico established a migration policy for entry into that country using a card for humanitarian reasons. The survey was applied mostly to people who were waiting for the delivery of this immigration document.

The survey indicates that the main reasons for migration are the search for labour opportunities (68%), education (11.8%) and better living conditions (10%). Additionally, 68.3 per cent of people indicate that in the last 12 months they had to change their residence in their country of origin due to some incident related to violence or insecurity.

The migrants said they needed water, food, clothing, health and accommodation to allow them to continue their journey in decent conditions. The regularization of their immigration status, obtaining a humanitarian visa and access to the refuge or asylum application in Mexico was the last identified need to enable them to continue to their destinations.

Of the people surveyed, 67 per cent said they did not know the procedures and protection requirements in Mexico and 65.3 per cent did not receive information about their rights as migrants. The main nationalities reported are Honduran (72.2%), Guatemalan (12.2%) and Salvadoran (11.7%).

The survey was applied to more than 800 people of this latest migratory flow, using IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) methodology.

"The DTM allows us to know the immediate needs, characteristics and migratory tendencies presented by the people who are part of these migratory movements," said Alexandra Bonnie, Regional Coordinator of the Mesoamerica Program of IOM. "We hope that the findings will be used as a tool to improve the institutional and governmental response in terms of assistance and migration governance," she added.

The DTM survey is carried out within the framework of the Regional Program on Mesoamerican–Caribbean Migration, with the support of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) of the US Department of State.

Other IOM actions in Chiapas include the provision of food supplies to migrants, in collaboration with the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE, by its Spanish acronym) and the National Disaster and Emergency Assistance Committee (CADENA). Also, informational materials, monitoring, and accompaniment have been distributed through the Informative Windows network and MigApp with the National Institute of Migration (INM).

The full report is available for download here.

For more information, contact Tatiana Chacón at IOM San Jose, Tel: +506 2212 5304, E-mail: tchacon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 15, 2019 - 17:34Image: Region-Country: MexicoThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Between 25-30 January, over 800 migrants were surveyed while waiting for their humanitarian visit cards to be processed by Mexican authorities. Photo: IOM 

Between 25-30 January, over 800 migrants were surveyed while waiting for their humanitarian visit cards to be processed by Mexican authorities. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Over 3,500 Returned Migrants; 2,000 Receive Reintegration Assistance in The Gambia

PBN News Germany - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 10:34

Banjul – The voluntary return of Gambians to their homes is averaging about 143 men and women per month since the start of 2017, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported this week, or the equivalent of one medium-sized charter flight every four weeks.

As of 8 February 2019, 3,668 Gambians have been assisted to voluntarily return home under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration since the start of 2017. Over 70 per cent of these individuals were returned just from Libya, with another 25 per cent coming home from Niger. The remaining 5 per cent came home from Mali, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia.

Almost two-thirds of all returnees have already received their reintegration assistance. Jalika is one of the 2,097 Gambian returnees who received reintegration assistance from IOM in The Gambia after she returned from a perilous journey across the desert. Upon voluntarily returning from Niger in March 2018 with her 10-year-old daughter, she received grocery goods which allowed her to open her own shop.

“I am happy to be back home safe and sound,” she said. “After some ups and downs, IOM helped me stabilize my income. I want to expand the shop with more goods and get my son to work in the shop.”

Within six months after the return of many Gambian migrants, counseling sessions with the returnees aim to tailor reintegration assistance to their specific needs, interests and skills based on the available opportunities in the country. Returnees classified as vulnerable cases, such as Jalika, are provided expedited assistance within two to four weeks. Close to 90 per cent of assisted Gambian returnees opt to establish their own microbusiness mainly in retail (39 per cent), construction (31 per cent) and transport (13 per cent).

IOM in The Gambia supports the reintegration of returnees through a holistic approach, addressing both migrants’ and their communities’ economic, social and psychosocial needs. Reintegration assistance may come in the form of medical and psychosocial support, support to set up or strengthen a small business, support to pursue education or vocational training, support for job insertion or referrals to other services available in the country.

This assistance forms part of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration. Launched in November 2017 with the funding of the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the initial target for The Gambia was to facilitate the voluntary returns and reintegration of 1,500 individuals over a period of three years. Less than two years after the launch, that target has been significantly exceeded.

Voluntary return options are an important protection measure for vulnerable and stranded migrants who are facing exploitation or abuse along the migration routes and who wish to return to their countries of origin but do not have the necessary means to do so. Returns are done at the explicit request of the individual returning, who has the right to pull out at any time of the process.

While IOM is not involved in or does not provide any financial contribution to forced returns, migrants who are forcibly returned may nevertheless find themselves in vulnerable situations and in need of assistance and protection as much as any voluntary returnee. Under certain conditions and safeguards, IOM can provide post-arrival and reintegration assistance to vulnerable migrants who were forcibly returned

“The EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in The Gambia serves a threefold purpose: saving lives by assisting those en route, offering voluntary return assistance to those who want it, and providing reintegration support to returning Gambian migrants and their communities,” said Ambassador Attila Lajos, Head of the EU Delegation to The Gambia.

“Essentially, the Joint Initiative is about making sure that the migration process is safer and better managed, and that migrant rights and dignity are respected,” he added. “Personally, I am very proud of the interim results achieved so far by these joint efforts by the EU, IOM and the Gambian government. Saving 3,668 Gambian lives and already assisting almost two-thirds of them to find their way to make it in The Gambia is a great achievement which the country can be proud of.”

IOM also offers returnees the option to venture into collective or community-based projects. The Gambia Returnees from the Backway Association, an organization formed by returnees while in detention in Libya, embarked this year on a collective poultry project for 12 members and was supported by IOM through a two-day training on agribusiness, financial management, conflict management and leadership.

“Facilitating the voluntary returns of over double the initial target is a huge milestone for IOM in The Gambia. Moving forward, we are hoping to diversify the types of industries returnees engage in for their reintegration, enhance referrals to existing vocational training programmes, and further link economic reintegration to psychosocial support,” said Fumiko Nagano, IOM Chief of Mission in The Gambia.

The EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration is funded by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and implemented in close collaboration with 26 African countries. The Joint Initiative facilitates orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration management through the development of rights-based and development-focused policies and processes on protection and sustainable reintegration.

For more information, please contact Miko Alazas at IOM The Gambia; Tel: +220 330 3168, Email: aalazas@iom.int or visit www.migrationjointinitiative.org.

Language English Posted: Friday, February 15, 2019 - 17:30Image: Region-Country: GambiaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationEUTFDefault: Multimedia: 

Returnees registering for job placement in The Gambia. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Tajikistan Takes Lead in Almaty Process

PBN News Germany - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 10:29

Dushanbe – Central Asia, home to millions of migrant workers with the region and in the Russian Federation, and a major destination for Afghan refugees, continues to seek ways to turn migration challenges into opportunities.

Officials from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan, as well as UN experts, came together in the Tajik capital Dushanbe from 12-13 February, for the first technical experts meeting of the Almaty Process on Refugee Protection and International Migration (Almaty Process), a regional consultative process founded in 2013.

It brings together Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan as members, with Pakistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran as observers. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provide organizational, logistical and expert support.

The meeting in Dushanbe was the first to be held under Tajikistan’s chairmanship and focused on safe and regulated migration options, on protection and assistance to vulnerable migrants and their families, and on coordinated approaches to reintegrate migrants and refugees.

Reflecting on the two-day gathering, Cristina Tranca, Chief of Mission of IOM Tajikistan, said, “The Almaty Process is a key platform for Central Asian governments to have a dialogue on human mobility, the rights of migrants, protection, human trafficking, irregular migration, integration and migration management.”

The experts decided to officially invite Uzbekistan to join the Almaty Process, and to encourage Afghanistan, Turkey and Turkmenistan to join the next gathering, scheduled for May. It will focus on migrant workers’ registration, and ways to improve national migration policies.

The Technical Expert Group Meeting of the Almaty Process in Dushanbe was funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

For more information, please contact Abdulfattoh Shafiev  at IOM Tajikistan, Tel: +992 48 701 02 22, Email: abdulfattoh@inbox.ru

Language English Posted: Friday, February 15, 2019 - 17:28Image: Region-Country: TajikistanThemes: Capacity BuildingInternational and Regional CooperationDefault: Multimedia: 

Officials from across Central Asia in Dushanbe for the IOM/organized Almaty Process meeting. Photo: IOM

Officials from across Central Asia in Dushanbe for the IOM/organized Almaty Process meeting. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Private Sector Workers in South Korea Learn How to Counter Modern Slavery, Forced Labour

PBN News Germany - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 10:27

Seoul – IOM Republic of Korea (ROK) and UN Global Compact (UNGC) Network Korea organized the Consultation Workshop on Eliminating Modern Slavery and Trafficking within Companies and Supply Chains in Seoul on 13 February 2019.

The half-day workshop was attended by more than 50 participants from Korean Multinational Corporations (MNCs), related companies and government agencies. Supported by the International Development Fund, the event raised awareness of labour workers’ rights and enhanced the capacity of participants to implement fair recruitment policies in their work places.

Globally, about 25 million people are victims of forced labour with the highest number in the Asia and Pacific region. More than half of the victims, 16 million people, are working in the private sector. In 2016, migrant workers accounted for 25 per cent of the total number of victims in the region.

Objective 6 of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), recently adopted by United Nations member states in 2018, contains the international community’s commitment on fair and ethical recruitment and safeguard conditions that ensure decent work for migrants. Yet many migrant workers are still vulnerable to labour exploitation.

“Since the early 1990s, Korean MNCs with international supply chains have been expanding their businesses in Asia, especially in China, Indonesia, Thailand and Viet Nam,” said Mihyung Park, IOM ROK Head of Office.

“Along with the growing demands for MNCs’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), this workshop was designed not only to strengthen Korean actors’ understanding of the vulnerabilities of migrant workers, but also to encourage them to play an important role in promoting fair and ethical recruitment,” she added.

Opened by Jaewon Kim, Assistant Regional Director of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Office in Hong Kong, the workshop shared global data on modern slavery in supply chain and leading business practices in multiple sectors.

Two local experts from UNGC Network and the National Human Rights Commission of Korea made presentations on the international standards of CSR and recent national legislative developments in counter-modern slavery.

Maximilian Pottler, IOM Project Manager in the Viet Nam Office showcased IOM initiatives including the Corporate Responsibility in Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking (CREST) project and the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS) along with risk management strategies.

“It is time for Korean corporations and their partners to recognize increasing risk of unethical recruitment and to take action. I hope that the participants will gain practical take-aways including strategies on how to tackle the existing modern slavery in their supply chains,” Pottler said.

Since 2016, IOM ROK has provided a series of technical consultations for local and global corporations to promote ethical recruitment including the Global Private Sector Forum (2016).

Further information on the event can be found here.

For more information please contact IOM ROK: Mihyung 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, February 15, 2019 - 17:20Image: Region-Country: Republic of KoreaThemes: Counter-TraffickingLabour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Scene of migrant worker (photocredit @CREST)

Scene of migrant worker (photocredit @CREST)

Image of global data on forced labor (from CREST)

In the opening session, Mihyung Park, IOM Republic of Korea Head of Office, welcomed the participants from Korean corporations and highlighted their important roles in promoting ethical recruitment. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 7,510 in 2019; Deaths Reach 217

PBN News Germany - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 10:17

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that 7,510 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first 44 days of 2019, almost a 9 per cent decline from the 8,234 arriving during the same period last year. Deaths on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through just over seven weeks of this year now are at 217 individuals, compared with 412 deaths during the same period in 2018 (see chart below).

IOM Spain

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that through Wednesday (13 February) 4,649 men, women and children have arrived as irregular migrants this month, or nearly three times the number arriving through this date last year. Through just over seven weeks of 2019, arrivals to Spain have more than matched the total for all arrivals through Spain during the entire first four months of 2018, a period during which IOM reported 4,627 irregular migrant arrivals to Spain by sea (see chart below).

IOM Greece

IOM Greece said on Thursday (14 February) that from Friday (08/02) up to date, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported at least three incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Lesvos. The HCG rescued a total of 132 migrants and transferred them to the respective port.

Those arrivals were among some 394 IOM recorded in the seven days between 7 and 13 February, arriving at the islands of Samos, Lesvos, Kos and Oinouses and bringing to 2,513 the total number of sea arrivals to Greece this year (see chart below).

Missing Migrants Project

So far in 2019, Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded the deaths of 382 people, 217 of those on one of three Mediterranean Sea routes (see chart below).

Most recently, the remains of an unidentified man were recovered from the banks of the Río Bravo near Camargo, in Mexico’s northern state of Tamaulipas, on 7 February. A Honduran 30-year-old man was swept away by the currents of the river on 13 February as he attempted to cross from Reynosa, in Tamaulipas. His 18-year-old wife, who is four months pregnant, was rescued by Mexican civil protection authorities. Also, in Mexico, a man was killed in Saltillo, Coahuila on 7 February, when he was travelling north to the US border. In Michoacán, a man was killed and seven were injured in a vehicle accident on the Morelia-Salamanca highway, when the car in which they were travelling to Texas, in the United States, collided with another vehicle on 13 February.

In the Western Mediterranean, Algerian civil protection authorities reported that the remains of two young men in their 30s were recovered from the sea off the coast of Kristel, east of Oran, on 9 February. Thirteen people were rescued, among them, ten Palestinian men, a 16-year-old Iraqi girl and two Algerian girls aged 16 and 17. Details regarding the nationalities and identities of the two deceased men have not been made public. According to survivors’ testimonies, three more people remain missing. In the Eastern Mediterranean, a 9-year-old girl, reported to be from Afghanistan, went missing when a boat carrying 52 people capsized off the coast of Tsonia, on the Greek island of Lesvos, on 13 February.

The death of an unidentified man was recorded on the Slovenia-Croatia border on 8 February. His remains were found in the Vodni Dol forest area, south of the Pasjak/Ripa border crossing in Croatia. It is believed he died of hypothermia.

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, February 15, 2019 - 17:05Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

In Address to African Union IOM Director General Lauds Partnerships that Deliver Results

PBN News Germany - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 10:54

Addis Ababa – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has cited the Regional Migrant Response Plan (RMRP) for the Horn of Africa and Yemen as an example of humanitarian and development efforts that work together to support durable solutions, address the drivers of displacement and build the capacity of governments in the region.  

IOM Director General António Vitorino was among the dignitaries who spoke at the 32nd African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government Summit on Sunday (10/02), whose theme was The Year of Refugees, Returnees and IDPs: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa, in recognition of the challenges and the need to recognize links between displacement, peace and security, and development in Africa. 

The summit coincided with the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Organization of African Unity (OAU) Convention on Refugees and the tenth anniversary of the 2009 AU Convention on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), known as the Kampala Convention.  

DG Vitorino singled out the AU-EU-UN Task Force on Libya, which combines the operational strengths of IOM and UNHCR with the political tools of the African Union, European Union and United Nations as another example of how key partners can cooperate to address the challenges of mixed migration in a coherent manner. 

“There is an urgent need to address root causes as we will continue to see an increase in both mixed and complex flows, which includes regular migrants, displaced people, as well as refugees who face sometimes similar vulnerabilities that make them prone to the activities of criminal networks and terrorist organizations,” said DG Vitorino in remarks at the close of the roundtable discussion.  

He emphasized the need for capacity building at the regional, inter-regional, and global level to address both the structural and proximate factors that continue to drive forced displacement on the continent. Vitorino commended Africa for its support of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and went on to urge the AU to take the lead in bringing to life both the Global Compact for Migration and Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) so that the human rights of refugees and migrants can continue to be upheld. 

DG Vitorino also emphasized that IOM would continue to support the continental body through, among others, support for the establishment of an African Observatory on Migration to improve the generation of data and statistics on migratory flows on the continent.  Through initiatives like the Africa Migration Report (AMR), the first ever of its kind, IOM will continue to support the African Union Commission in its aspiration to own its migration narrative. 

DG Vitorino, accompanied by Maureen Achieng, IOM Ethiopia Chief of Mission and Representative to the AU, IGAD and UNECA, also held bilateral discussions with Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the EU Commission, that covered a broad range of migration topics of concern to both the European Union Commission and the IOM. 

Together they visited IOM Ethiopia’s Assisted Voluntary Return Transit Centre in Addis Ababa where Ms. Mogherini interacted with Ethiopian returnees awaiting return to and reunification with their families to understand better their personal circumstances that lead them to take on these perilous journeys, and to reflect on possible solutions. 

Speaking during a roundtable earlier, Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s Director of Operations and Emergencies noted that the Kampala Convention puts Africa at the forefront of regional frameworks for displacement situations and urged its formal adoption and integration into national legislation, noting that this was central to achieving the Common African Position on Humanitarian Effectiveness (CAP), adopted in 2016.  

The CAP defines the continent’s new humanitarian architecture and emphasizes the need to address the root causes and achieving durable solutions, by strengthening the capacity of states and stakeholders to address challenges of forced displacement and enhancing humanitarian action on the continent. 

For more information, contact the IOM Ethiopia Special Liaison Office: Maureen Achieng, Tel: +251 557 1707 (ext. 1400), Email: machieng@iom.int or Eric Mazango, Tel: +251 557 1707 (ext. 1456), Email: emazango@iom.int  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 17:51Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

António Vitorino, IOM Director General, Federica Mogherini, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the European Commission and Maureen Achieng, IOM Ethiopia Chief of Mission visit the IOM Transit Center in Addis Ababa.

António Vitorino, IOM Director General speaks at the UN ECA in Addis Ababa. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

New Findings Show Lack of Durable Solutions for Displaced Iraqis

PBN News Germany - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 10:36

Erbil – Five years after the start of the ISIL crisis in Iraq, more than 1.8 million people remain displaced. While most internally displaced persons (IDPs) living outside of camps initially saw their living conditions improve in the years immediate after displacement, now many live in a state of limbo – often working in the informal labour sector, still crowding extended families into small living spaces and relying on funds from family members or government pensions.

These are the findings of the latest round of an ongoing, multi-year study the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Georgetown University have conducted with nearly 4,000 internally displaced families living out of camps.

Access to Durable Solutions: Three Years in Displacement is the report being released today (12/02), the third round of the survey since the IOM/Georgetown study began in 2015.

Each year, IOM enumerators conduct interviews with the families on eight criteria that contribute to what the humanitarian community has defined as durable solutions for IDPs: safety and security, living standards, employment, housing, family separation and reunification, documentation, participation in public affairs and access to justice.

“These IDP families have found ways to meet their basic needs, but they have done so by lowering their standards of living or depending on others by borrowing money and receiving aid or charity,” said Georgetown University Professor Rochelle Davis. 

“Over time, we see that people are surviving, but primarily by resorting to these short-term or crisis-driven solutions rather than long-term, sustainable solutions,” she continued. 

The study also shows that the sense of safety and security among IDPs has significantly increased in the past three years and more people claim to have confidence in state-run institutions to pursue and achieve justice, rather than tribal or religious authorities.

Interestingly, throughout their time in displacement, IDPs have increased their participation in both civic groups and local reconciliation initiatives in their areas of displacement but overall participation remains low (an increase of 4 per cent to 13 per cent). In contrast, among the returnees surveyed in this same study, 20 per cent participate in local reconciliation efforts in their areas of origin.

The study also indicates that 75 per cent of IDPs live in rented accommodation throughout their period of displacement.

“While approximately four million IDPs have returned to areas of origin, or have moved to other locations, about 1.8 million remain displaced. They have proven to be highly resilient yet remain vulnerable and in need of continued support from the humanitarian community,” said Gerard Waite, IOM Iraq Chief of Mission.

A displaced father from Ramadi, Anbar Governorate, now living in Basra who participated in the study said: “My situation improved a lot in the past five months because I became known for being a professional carpenter. This has supported my family’s income. Before finding this work, we had no new clothes, no education, and sometimes no healthcare. Therefore, in these times we are blessed with enough income to provide our basic needs.”

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 17:32Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM enumerators have surveyed thousands of displaced families in Iraq as part of a multi-year study on durable solutions. Photo: IOM/Anjam Rasool

Lack of Durable Solutions for Displaced Iraqis | Five years after the start of the ISIL crisis in Iraq, more than 1.8 million people remain displaced. 

IOM enumerators have surveyed thousands of displaced families in Iraq as part of a multi-year study on durable solutions. Photo: IOM/Anjam Rasool

IOM enumerators have surveyed thousands of displaced families in Iraq as part of a multi-year study on durable solutions. Photo: IOM/Anjam Rasool

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Shelters Handed Over to Chadians in Returnee Site

PBN News Germany - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 10:32

N’djamena – For decades, many citizens of of Chad have sought employment in neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR) where many have lived since at least the 1970s.

Yet since the outbreak of violence in CAR in 2013, thousands also have fled back to Chad, leaving behind everything they owned and who must now rely on Chadian host communities for support. 

Resources of host communities in Danamadja and Kobiteye, Southern Chad, have been exhausted, such that humanitarian assistance – through the provision of shelters and non-food items – has become crucial to local stability. 

Last week (05/02), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Chad handed over 420 semi-durable shelters to the most vulnerable returnees in the main sites during a ceremony in Danamadja, which is home to over 8,500 returnees. 

During the same week (5-8/02) 175 kits including mosquito nets, blankets, sleeping mats, kitchen items, plastic sheeting, hygiene kits and related items were distributed in the site to the most vulnerable households.

In these returnees’ sites, the most vulnerable families are mainly female-headed and have more than ten family members. Some households with members living with chronic diseases, or mental or physical handicaps, are also prioritized.

“We came to you to discuss the needs and we found solutions together,” said IOM Emergency Coordinator Daniele Febei to community members who attended the event. “Joint efforts and close collaboration with local authorities and our partners helped IOM to facilitate dialogue with the communities and ensure stability,” he added.

This assistance is made possible thanks to the Emergency Assistance to Displaced Populations in Chad project launched in September and funded by the Federal Republic of Germany.

This project aims at providing essential support to communities in Goré and Baga-Sola by providing 1,000 semi-durable shelters and over 1,000 non-food items (NFI) kits including household, kitchen and hygiene items to target households. 

For more information, please contact Anne Kathrin Schaefer, IOM Chad, Tel: +2356 028 1778, Email: aschaefer@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 17:31Image: Region-Country: ChadThemes: Community StabilizationShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

Chadian returnees in Kobitey site. Photo: IOM/Amanda Nero

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

New Project Aims to Scale Up Reintegration Assistance to Returnees in Nigeria

PBN News Germany - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 10:31

Benin City – Leaving is hard. Sometimes coming home is harder. Especially for irregular migrants who bear the shame of failure for not confirming popular myths of faraway streets paved with gold.

“When I came back, my family deserted me because their hope of having a child in Europe was dashed. My friends rejected me because I didn’t tell them I left Nigeria. My wife ran away with my kids because she thought I would never amount to anything,” recalled Adeola as he received his business skills training certificate in Benin City, Nigeria.

“But here I am now. IOM just rekindled my hope,” he added.

On 7 February, Adeola, together with 20 other migrant returnees, attended a graduation ceremony marking the end of a four-day business skill management training, aiming to equip returnees with basic knowledge and skills on how to manage and run a small business.  

The launch event ran parallel to the first state-level coordination meeting in Benin City, Nigeria to launch a project aimed at enhancing the protection and reintegration of returnees who were assisted back to Nigeria between January and February 2018 through an initiative by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The project, funded by the Government of the United Kingdom, and implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the Federal Government of Nigeria, aims to strengthen the capacity of state and non-state actors in Lagos, Edo and Delta states to provide sustainable reintegration support to returned migrants, including vulnerable groups. The most vulnerable 1,700 returnees will receive socio-economic reintegration assistance and mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS).

In total, IOM has provided business skill management training for 550 beneficiaries under this new project.

“The UK Government is very happy to be supporting IOM in its mission to protect and rehabilitate returned migrants to Nigeria, including victims of trafficking, from Libya,” said Debbie Palmer, Head of Office, DFID Nigeria.

The event was organized by IOM in collaboration with the National Commission for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI).

Senior federal and state government representatives, including the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, NCFRMI, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Ministry of Health, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking, Nigeria Immigration Service, as well as representatives from nongovernmental organizations and civil society convened at the meeting to identify gaps, challenges and priorities, and discuss a way forward to strengthen state-level coordination.

The 24-month project Protection and Reintegration of Nigerian Migrants Returned from Libya under the Federal Government of Nigeria-Facilitated Chartered Flights, complimentary to programmes such as the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration.

For more information please contact Jorge Galindo at IOM Nigeria, Tel: +234 906 273 9168, Email: jgalindo@iom.int or Ikechukwu Attah, Email: iattah@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 17:29Image: Region-Country: NigeriaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

A returnee receives his business training diploma. Photo: IOM/Jorge Galindo

Participants of the 24-month project which aims to build the capacity of government agencies and civil society. Photo: IOM/Jorge Galindo

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM to Launch International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS) in Bangladesh

PBN News Germany - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 10:24

Dhaka – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), with the support of the European Union, recently organized a workshop in Dhaka to prepare key stakeholders for the imminent launch of the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS) in Bangladesh.

The workshop, part of the European Union (EU) funded project, Prottasha, sought to improve migration governance and ensure sustainable reintegration of returnees from EU member states. It was attended by representatives from key ministries, development partners, recruiting agencies, research institutions and national media.

While remittance inflows have been on the rise with USD 13.6 Billion coming into Bangladesh in 2018, Bangladeshi migrants are often victims of abuse and exploitation mainly due to unethical recruitment practices. The other reasons are lack of information, influence of middlemen, low skill sets and migrant workers’ limited knowledge of their rights and services available to them.

According to statistics shared by UN WOMEN, over 70 per cent of Bangladeshi women are believed to have been victims of unethical recruitment practices, a probable reason for decrease in female migrant outflow since 2014.

“Many Bangladeshis working abroad are unaware of migration challenges,” said Rownak Jahan, Bangladesh Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Secretary.  “We cannot continue to send migrants without adequate training – an agenda the ministry has taken as top priority.”

"Ethical recruitment practices are essential to improve worker protection, prevent value erosion of their remittances due to excessive levels of debt, strengthen labour broker‐employer relations and reduce the appeal of irregular migration." said Audrey Maillot, Team Leader Governance from the Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh.

The Government and the Bangladesh Association for International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) believe, a viable solution to tackle unethical recruitment practices would be adopting an employer pay model.

“We are partnering with different stakeholders at this stage to see how an effective recruitment system can be devised for the country,” said Sharon Dimanche, IOM Bangladesh Deputy Chief of Mission. “The objective is to have a system that’s not only fair to the migrants but also the employers.”

Earlier this year, IOM has jointly formed a technical working group with BAIRA that will work closely with key stakeholders in establishing systematic tools like IOM’s IRIS to improve labour recruiters’ transparency in the hiring process.

IRIS is a voluntary multi-stakeholder certification system for international labour recruiters which is based on international human rights instruments, ILO Conventions and guidelines, as well as best practice from the recruitment industry. It helps to protect and empower migrant workers by eliminating exploitation in the recruitment process as well as helps recruiting agencies gain competitive market advantage by establishing themselves as fair, transparent and responsible entities.

For more information please contact Chowdhury Asif Mahmud Bin Harun at IOM Bangladesh, Email: mbinharun@iom.int, Tel. +880-1755-509-476

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 17:22Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Capacity BuildingLabour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Sharon Dimanche, IOM Bangladesh Deputy Chief of Mission speaking during the workshop in Dhaka. Photo: IOM/TS Turja

Pawel Szalus, IRIS Programme Manager, sensitizing stakeholders on IOM’s International Recruitment Integrity System. Photo: IOM/TS Turja

Bangladesh's Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Secretary Ms. Rownak Jahan addressing the participants at the event. Photo: IOM/TS Turja

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 7,113 in 2019; Deaths Reach 216

PBN News Germany - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 10:21

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 7,113 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first 10 February, a significant decrease from the 8,234 arriving during the same period last year. Deaths on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through almost six weeks of 2019 are at 216 individuals, compared with 403 deaths during the same period in 2018. (see chart here)

See contacts here.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 17:03Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Lithuania Provide Heaters for People Freezing in Conflict-Affected Eastern Ukraine

PBN News Germany - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 11:46

Kyiv – For the fifth consecutive winter, bitter sub-zero temperatures pose health and life-threatening challenges for the conflict-affected people in eastern Ukraine. The elderly, comprising 30 per cent of those affected, suffer most. The humanitarian community is striving to provide winterization assistance to the most vulnerable people in Ukraine’s Eastern Conflict Area.

As part of the effort, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) – funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania – is distributing electric heaters and cast-iron stoves to the residents of the small towns of Novotoshkivske, Orikhove (Luhansk Region), Verkhnotoretske, Pivnichne and Druzhba (Donetsk Region).

These settlements along the contact line in government-controlled areas suffer from shelling, lack of vital infrastructure, restrictions of movement and mine contamination.

Over 500 households, including single parents, families with three and more children, people with disabilities and the elderly received this essential assistance that will help them endure the harsh winter. This is especially important considering the extreme financial vulnerability of IOM’s beneficiaries and high price of solid fuel – coal or wood – used in most households.

Before the conflict, Olha Stepanivna, a pensioner from the town of Pivnichne, used to live in her apartment with central heating. But, because of intensive shelling, she had to move to her shabby village house, located in a safer area. She said that the electric heater came in very handy for her, because she could not afford to buy one. “Now I will put it in the bedroom and will be able to regulate the temperature more efficiently, trying to reduce my expenses on coal and save a little bit of my scarce pension,” she said.

Recently, humanitarian agencies called for USD 162 million to respond to the humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine.

“After almost five years, the capacities of the people are exhausted, forcing them to resort to stark and impossible choices whether to eat, buy medication, send their children to school or be warm at home,” said IOM Chief of Mission in Ukraine, Dr. Thomas Lothar Weiss.

“Moreover, the number of people in need of humanitarian and protection assistance, currently estimated at 3.5 million people, has grown over the last year due to widespread landmine contamination and the prevalent mental and psychological impact of the conflict. Ukraine must not be forgotten,” added Weiss.

For more information please contact Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine, Tel. +38 044 568 50 15 or +38 067 447 97 92, Email: vzhluktenko@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 8, 2019 - 18:50Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

Elderly resident of Verkhnotoretske, Donetsk Region, receives his electric heater from IOM. Photo: IOM

Olha Stepanivna at her village house in Pivnichne, Donetsk Region. It is cold here, but she says she feels safe from shelling. Photo: IOM 

Heater distribution in Verkhnotoretske, Donetsk Region. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Special Delivery: Liberian Couple Turns Back from Dangerous Route to Europe

PBN News Germany - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 11:45

Ouagadougou – If things had gone differently, Baby Siaka* might have been born in Spain or France. Or Mali. Or Algeria. Or even at sea. All could have been plausible birthplaces for the first child of a young Liberian couple who left home in December 2017 to attempt a dangerous African crossing and a dreamed-of arrival in Europe.

Instead, Baby Siaka first saw light on earth in mid-January in a transit centre operated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital city.  “This is my first child. I am so relieved everything went fine during the delivery,” says Aminata*, holding her baby son.

She never thought she would feel such happiness again after her long and traumatic journey across West Africa.

Burkina Faso is a key transit country in West and Central Africa. Over the past two years, IOM noted nearly one in five of all flows observed in the region as IOM Flow Monitoring Points was in Burkina Faso.

Moreover, IOM staff identified 29 nationalities among some 4,500 migrants interviewed as they crossed the country during 2018.  Ivorians (32%), Nigerians (24%) and Malians (16%) made up almost two-thirds of the sojourners.

Aminata left Liberia together with her husband in December 2017. Their dream was to reach Algeria and work there. Friends told them that if they wanted to and if they got lucky, they might even reach Europe. 

But once in Mali, things did not go as planned. The smugglers who had promised them a safe journey vanished. Aminata and her husband were stranded in a foreign country, not knowing anyone and not speaking the language. They hit the road back to Liberia via Burkina Faso.

“I was sick, penniless and desperately looking to go back home. An IOM staff I met at the bus station in Ouagadougou told me to seek assistance from IOM. A few days later, I discovered I was pregnant,” the new mother recalls.

“When she arrived in Ouagadougou, Aminata was sick and it was impossible for her to travel,” explains the IOM doctor who assisted her at a local health facility in Burkina Faso’s capital city.

The IOM protection team is now assisting Aminata with the baby’s civil registration and birth certificate. When fully fit to travel, the IOM mission in Liberia will take over the assistance by offering her tailored reintegration assistance.

In 2018, IOM Burkina Faso provided shelter to 205 stranded migrants mainly originating from Liberia, Guinea and Mali. These migrants were referred to IOM via the Flow Monitoring Points, governmental institutions like ‘action sociale’, the police, other UN agencies, NGOs or embassies.

In 2018, 138 migrants decided to opt for voluntary return with reintegration assistance back in their country of origin. Four of the 205 migrants were referred to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) for complementary protection measures. 

The assistance to stranded migrants is funded by the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, funded by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and implemented by IOM, and the government of Burkina Faso.

“Now, I want to travel safely back to Liberia and leave this difficult story behind me. I want to be reunited with my family and build my future there,” Aminata adds.

*Names have been changed

For more information, please contact Andreas de Boer at IOM Burkina Faso, Email: adeboer@iom.int.

Or Florence Kim at the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Dakar, Tel: +221786206213; Email: fkim@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 8, 2019 - 18:40Image: Region-Country: Burkina FasoThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

Aminata holds her son at IOM’s Migrant Resource and Response Centre for stranded migrants in Ouagadougou. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

400 West African Journalists Trained on Migration Reporting Since 2018, Latest in Guinea-Bissau

PBN News Germany - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 11:44

Bissau – Accurate, clear and well-documented media coverage on migration plays a crucial role in raising awareness in West Africa on the risks of irregular migration and in the reintegration of returning migrants in their communities. As prominent community educators in countries where the illiteracy rate approaches 60 per cent, journalists often receive limited or no journalism training, except in few higher income countries like Senegal or Nigeria.

It is in this context that the International Organization for Migration (IOM), funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), organized a three-day training this week (5-7/02) on migration reporting for 28 journalists from Guinea-Bissau. Participants – mostly from radio, from a country where print media is not widespread – started with the basics, first receiving an overview of the migration situation in Guinea-Bissau as well as along the Central and Western Mediterranean routes.

The training included an in-depth study of migration terminology and the legal implications of each term in use – for example, that every refugee is a migrant, but not every migrant is a refugee – followed by an explanation of trafficking in persons in the Guinea-Bissau context, and more generally across the region.

“Before the workshop I thought that people migrate [irregularly] just because they want to, said participant Nilza Utali who reports for National TV in Guinea-Bissau. “But I realized that even if they have the information, they don’t really know what they risk. When I see them now, I can relate to them somewhat. I sympathize with them and I know why they do it.”

Journalism ethics – particularly the journalist’s role in preventing and protecting victims of trafficking – was also discussed. A session to strengthen interview techniques was conducted to ensure the protection of vulnerable returning migrants (including victims of trafficking, pregnant women and minors). The training was also an opportunity to learn from Sanussi – a Bissau-Guinean recently returned from Algeria – who shared his own migration experience.

“As media people, we should tell them that they can use the money they have to get a visa, documents. I want to tell them, ‘Do it the normal way without hiding’. But we can certainly not tell them that one way is the good one and that if they take the other one, they will die,” Utali explained.

“We would just scare them, but they would still go,” she concluded.

Participants visited two collective reintegration projects, each of which allowed two returning migrants to pool their resources and start a poultry business and a tailor shop. Following the visits, the 28 journalists wrote the first joint blog on migration in West and Central Africa.

“Learning how to cover migration issues with due regard to the human rights and the dignity of migrants is a fundamental step in informing public opinion. For an objective and evidence-based analysis, it is important to know how to report on migration in a different way,” said Laura Amadori, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Guinea Bissau.

This training was provided under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, an Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration programme for stranded migrants along the Mediterranean migration routes. The programme is funded by the European Union and implemented by IOM. A total of 408 Bissau-Guineans have been assisted under this programme since 2017.

Since 2018, IOM has trained 400 journalists from seven West and Central African countries to strengthen media coverage on migration. An ancillary goal is to better inform news consumers on the risks of irregular migration, and to facilitate returning migrants’ reintegration.

Since the launch of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative in 2017, almost 53,000 migrants have been assisted to voluntarily return to West and Central African countries. While post-arrival reception assistance has been provided to slightly more than 52,800 returnees, economic, social and psychosocial reintegration remain a key factor for a sustainable return.

For more information, please contact Sandro Moreira at IOM Guinea Bissau. Tel: +225 95 539 35 51, Email: stmoreira@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 8, 2019 - 18:30Image: Region-Country: Guinea-BissauThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Journalists in Guinea Bissau receive training on migration reporting. Photo: IOM

Journalists in Guinea Bissau receive training on migration reporting. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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