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Updated: 2 hours 31 min ago

Another Boat Tragedy off North Africa’s Atlantic Coast Stark Reminder of Perilous Sea Journeys

Wed, 08/18/2021 - 16:02

Geneva - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, say the deaths of 47 people who were onboard a boat heading to the Canary Islands from North Africa’s Atlantic coast highlight the urgent need for more support to prevent further tragedies at sea.

The boat left on 3 August carrying 54 people, including three children. After two days at sea, engine failure left passengers stranded without food or water for nearly a fortnight. When located by the Mauritanian coast guard on 16 August, only seven people were alive on board.

Survivors were taken to Mauritania’s northern city of Nouadhibou for medical treatment. Four people in critical condition were transferred to the hospital. UNHCR is working to provide assistance and to determine whether any survivors have international protection needs.    

The latest tragedy comes just 10 days after another 40 people lost their lives along the same route. It adds to the spiraling number of deaths as more vessels depart for the Canary Islands. As of January this year, more than 350 people have died, while over 8,000 refugees and migrants have reached Spain using this sea route.

Meanwhile, since October 2020, more than 1,200 people have been rescued off the Mauritanian coast and received medical assistance as part of a first aid programme set up by IOM.

IOM and UNHCR are appealing for more support to be able to continue their lifesaving interventions, including through screening, medical and psychosocial aid.

“Our top priority is to provide safe and viable alternatives to the dangerous journeys undertaken by refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean, as per the objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees,” said Maria Stavropoulou, UNHCR’s Representative in Mauritania. “UNHCR is working to increase the identification of those with international protection needs travelling along these routes and provide assistance in the countries that host them.”  

IOM’s Chief of Mission in Mauritania, Boubacar Seybou, said the organization was concerned that many rescued at sea end up in administrative detention.

“In accordance with the recommendations included in the Global Compact for Migration, alternatives must also be available to survivors, who have already suffered heavy medical and psychosocial trauma,” Seybou said. “We are working closely with authorities “to accelerate the implementation of new assistance and protection measures, and to strengthen the fight against traffickers and smuggler networks.”   

IOM and UNHCR are urging the international community to support efforts to identify and assist those with international protection and other specific needs, create safe and legal pathways, establish alternatives to detention, and strengthen search and rescue capacity off the coast of Mauritania.


For more information, please contact


In  Nouakchott, Nicolas Hochart:,+222 28 88 89 60. 

In Geneva, Safa Msehli:, +417940355326 


In Nouakchott, Joséphine Lebas-Joly,, +222 28 88 21 05

In Geneva, Aikaterini Kitidi,, +41 795808334

Language English Posted: Wednesday, August 18, 2021 - 21:54Image: Region-Country: MauritaniaThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Crisis ResponseMigration ManagementMissing Migrants
Categories: PBN

Safety of Afghans and Humanitarian Access Must be Top Priorities

Tue, 08/17/2021 - 09:26

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has been following with great concern the developments in Afghanistan and the grave consequences for displaced people and civilians needing humanitarian assistance, in a country already severely affected by years of conflict and drought.   

“While the current situation presents difficult new challenges, IOM will strive to continue its programmes and provide assistance to displaced communities while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of its staff across the country," said IOM Director General António Vitorino.  

“The security of humanitarian actors, and respect for humanitarian principles, are prerequisites for a continued and effective response to the needs of vulnerable people, and assurances by all parties involved must be provided.”  

Nearly 400,000 people have been displaced since the beginning of the year as a result of ongoing violence. More than 5 million others are already internally displaced and reliant on humanitarian aid.   

IOM reiterates that the safety and protection of civilians remains the number one priority and appeals to all parties to ensure unhindered access for all humanitarian actors providing relief and much- needed assistance to affected populations who should be able to continue to exercise their fundamental rights.   

Due to instability and recent security developments in the capital Kabul, movement to and from the country has been hindered, affecting IOM operations.   

Considering the prevailing insecurity across the country, the Organization’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) Programme, as well as post arrival reintegration assistance to returnees, have been put on hold for now.   

IOM also commends the decisions by several States to halt forced returns to Afghanistan and calls for wider adoption of this moratorium.   

Ensuring the safety of civilians is paramount and should be a priority for all concerned. IOM urges all parties to continue efforts to maintain dialogue and works towards a peaceful resolution of the situation, prioritizing the welfare of the Afghan people.   

We echo the call by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres for an immediate end to violence and the protection of the rights of civilians.  


For more Information please contact:  

In Bangkok: Itayi Viriri, Email:, Tel: +66 65 939 0934 

In Geneva: Safa Msehli, Email:, Tel: +41794035526 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2021 - 14:58Image: Region-Country: AfghanistanDefault: Multimedia: 

More than five million people are already internally displaced in Afghanistan and reliant on humanitarian aid.  Photo: Shadayee IDP settlement in Heart, IOM Muse Mohammed 2021 

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Crisis ResponseInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsReturn and Reintegration
Categories: PBN

IOM Director General Calls for Enhanced Support for Northern Mozambique

Tue, 08/17/2021 - 08:22

Pemba, Cabo Delgado – International Organization for Migration (IOM) Director-General António Vitorino is on a three-day visit to Mozambique to assess and support the humanitarian response to ongoing displacement due to insecurity, as well as IOM’s interventions on recovery, community resilience and peacebuilding.  

The Director General has visited Metuge district, which hosts over 125,000 of the more than 732,000 individuals displaced since late 2017.  

“I urge the rapid expansion of humanitarian assistance to support the hundreds of thousands of individuals displaced by the continuing insecurity in Cabo Delgado,” said DG Vitorino, who wraps up his visit on Wednesday. 

"IOM has significantly scaled up operations to reach tens of thousands of families every month. Significant additional funding is required to cover life-saving humanitarian needs and work towards durable solutions, especially before the next rainy and cyclone season in December.” 

Families continue to be on the move, seeking shelter, humanitarian assistance and means of support while uprooted from home. During the week of 28 July to 3 August, more than 9,200 displaced people were on the move, half of whom have experienced multiple displacements, according to IOM´s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). 

Between January and July 2021, IOM Mozambique has provided assistance to more than 600,000 people in Cabo Delgado, including shelter construction or reconstruction support, emergency shelters, retrofitting roof kits and non-food or household items.  

However, IOM operations are underfunded, especially in Camp Coordination and Camp Management, Shelter and Non-Food Items, Protection, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Health in Emergencies. Through these programmes, IOM provides vulnerable and conflict-affected individuals with essential support. This includes psychosocial assistance; assessing the mental health needs of displaced people, providing referrals and enhancing awareness within communities. 

“Our responses must also address the drivers of fragility and violence, and promote sustainable peace and recovery,” said DG Vitorino. “Critical support is needed for IOM’s peacebuilding programming; the need is more urgent than ever, considering the rapidly changing context in the northern districts of Cabo Delgado.” 

Since 2019 IOM’s Community Resilience and Peacebuilding portfolio has worked to strengthen community resilience to address the underlying causes of crisis in support of the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus.  

IOM Mozambique continues to operate in the south, centre and north of the country in cooperation with the Government and humanitarian, development and peacebuilding partners.  

In central Mozambique, there are still 73 resettlement sites hosting 93,000 people displaced by Cyclone Idai in 2019 and by more recent cyclones and major weather events. Enhanced access to durable solutions is much needed, as these displaced people remain vulnerable to future natural disasters.  

In 2021, IOM requires USD 58 million to support emergency and post-crisis efforts in Mozambique under the IOM Mozambique Crisis Response Plan, which includes USD 21.7 million to respond to immediate lifesaving  humanitarian needs in northern Mozambique through this year’s Humanitarian Response Plan, which remains underfunded.  


For more information, please contact:  

Manuel Mabuiangue at IOM Mozambique, Tel:  +258 847345420, Email:, or IOM´s spokesperson in Geneva, Safa Msehli, Tel: +41794035526, Email:  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2021 - 13:29Image: Region-Country: MozambiqueDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Director General Antonio Vitorino speaks with Internally Displaced Persons while visiting a resettlement site in Cabo Delgado to oversee the humanitarian assistance. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Crisis ResponseDTMInternal DisplacementInternational Cooperation and Partnerships
Categories: PBN

More Funding to Boost Migrant Return and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa

Tue, 08/17/2021 - 04:10

Djibouti – New funding from the European Union (EU) will help the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and partners accelerate assisted voluntary return and reintegration of vulnerable and stranded migrants in the Horn of Africa, a region with some of the world’s busiest and most perilous migration routes. 

“The top-up funding will enable the programme to further solidify the last four years of collaborative efforts and learning by partners and IOM towards setting new standards for migrant protection and reintegration,” said Mitsue Pembroke, the deputy regional coordinator of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa (EU-IOM Joint Initiative). 

The latest funding of EUR 5.95 million raises the total allocation to the EU-IOM Joint Initiative to EUR 64.7 million. 

So far this year, 99 migrants have died in the Horn of Africa, while at least another 30 Ethiopian migrants perished in a shipwreck off the coast of Yemen in July, according to IOM’s Missing Migrants Project which tracks migrant deaths, including refugees and asylum-seekers who cannot be accounted for along migration routes worldwide. 

The new funding also will enable capacity building for government and other partners and boost migration data collection and analysis to support evidence-based programming. Information and awareness raising will also be supported. 

The Horn of Africa has three major international migratory routes – ‘the Eastern Route’ to the Arabian Peninsula, and in particular Saudi Arabia, through either Obock in Djibouti or Bosaso in Somalia; ‘the Northern Route’ through Sudan towards northern Africa and Europe; and ‘the Southern Route’ towards the southern part of the continent, in particular South Africa.  

The Eastern Route accounts for the largest number of irregular movements and fatalities in the region.  

Ethiopian men make up 72 per cent of migrant arrivals on the coasts of Yemen, according to IOM’s report  A Region on the Move 2020, but many unaccompanied migrant children (UMCs) are also making the dangerous journey. The proportion of UMCs rose from 6 per cent in 2019 to 9 per cent in 2020.  

Overall, 71 per cent of all migrating children along the ‘Eastern Route’ in 2020 were UMCs, compared to 46 per cent in 2019. 

Apart from dangerous sea crossings, dehydration from walking in desert conditions in Djibouti and Somalia is another risk factor. 

Since March 2017, the EU-IOM Joint Initiative has supported more than 7,000 migrants in transit and destination countries across the region with life-saving assistance, enabling them to return safely and with dignity to their countries of origin.   

Nearly 9,000 returning migrants have been helped to resume their lives in their communities of origin in Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, as well as in Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda. Assistance has included the establishment of 42 community projects, with an overall target population of 216,000. 

The EU-IOM Joint Initiative has also allowed the secondment of migration specialists to the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development.  

In addition, funding has gone to support a network of one-stop centres, located at key points along the major migration routes, that provide vulnerable and stranded migrants with shelter, food, personal hygiene products, in addition to health and psychosocial assistance. 


About the EU-IOM Joint Initiative 

Launched in December 2016 with the support of the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), the programme brings together 26 African countries of the Sahel and Lake Chad region, the Horn of Africa, and North Africa, along with the European Union and the International Organization for Migration, around the goal of ensuring that migration is safer, more informed and better governed for both migrants and their communities. 

For more information, please contact Julia Hartlieb at IOM’s Regional Office in Nairobi,  Email: or Wilson Johwa, Email:  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2021 - 09:32Image: Region-Country: DjiboutiDefault: Multimedia: 

Distressed migrants in Obock, Djibouti, are taken to IOM's Migration Response Centre for more care. Photo: IOM/Alexander Bee

Ethiopian migrants prepare for the return journey from Djibouti. Photo: IOM/Alexander Bee

A migrant returnee in Bosaso, Somalia in his shop established with support from IOM. Photo: IOM/Mohammed Muse

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Crisis ResponseInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration ManagementReturn and Reintegration
Categories: PBN

IOM Says USD 27 Million Urgently Needed for Shelter Help in Ethiopia's Tigray Region

Tue, 08/17/2021 - 04:00

Addis Ababa – The Ethiopia Emergency Shelter and Non-Food Item (ES/NFI) Cluster led by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said today USD 27 million is urgently needed to continue providing emergency shelter and other assistance for those internally displaced in Tigray. 

An estimated 5 million people have been affected by the humanitarian crisis triggered by conflict nine months ago, and more than 2.1 million people are internally displaced in the region, according to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Emergency Site Assessment Report 7, released last week. 

While some have fled Ethiopia and sought refuge in neighbouring Sudan, many are sheltered in 116 sites for internally displaced persons (IDP) in the region.  

Some 629,000 have been reached with lifesaving emergency shelter and non-food items that include blankets and cooking utensils.  

But the assistance has not been confined to tangible items. An example is the local population who have shown solidarity by sheltering the vast majority of the displaced.  

However, this hosting capacity appears to have reached its limit, particularly since the disruption of banking services and the reduced supply of goods and services because of the crisis. 

For the past 10 years, IOM has been leading the ES/NFI cluster in Ethiopia, a group of 33 national and international NGOs and two UN agencies operating in 10 regions and 59 zones, which has recently established two sub-clusters working on shelter and non-food item assistance in Tigray to improve coordination and responses.  

The Cluster urgently requires USD 27 million for ES/NFI assistance to 1.6 million people living in unsafe conditions. Many may be asked to vacate their temporary residence in schools that are planned to open by late September. 

“The ES/NFI Cluster partners are working with multiple approaches given the complex and often urban environments where many displaced people find themselves,” said Jeffrey Labovitz, IOM Director for the Department of Operations and Emergencies. 

"The strategy is for a response that assists both newly displaced people and stretched host communities. It also prepares for those people who may be displaced for the long term.”  

In July, IOM appealed for USD 63.4 million to help those affected by the crisis in Northern Ethiopia, of which USD 50.1 million is for the provision of emergency shelter and non-food items to about 2 million IDPs in 2021. Only USD 28.7 million has been received so far. 

For more information, please contact Safa Msehli at IOM HQ in Geneva; Email:  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2021 - 09:32Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaDefault: Multimedia: 

A school-turned-IDP site in Shire in Ethiopia's Tigray Region hosts thousands of internally displaced persons. Photo: IOM/Kaye Viray

Shelters being constructed at one of the collective sites in Tigray. Photo: IOM/Kaye Viray 

A delegation of Ambassadors of Canada, Finland and Japan and United Nations officials visited the Sabacare 4 IDP site in Mekele, Tigray in April to assess the response to the humanitarian crisis.  Photo: IOM/Kaye Viray

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Crisis ResponseDTMInternal DisplacementInternational Cooperation and Partnerships
Categories: PBN

IOM Supports Response to Earthquake in Haiti

Mon, 08/16/2021 - 14:18

Port-au-Prince – As Haiti struggles to cope in the aftermath of a deadly weekend earthquake, the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) relief efforts to support national authorities are now also focusing on finding safe buildings where thousands of displaced residents can shelter from an approaching storm likely to cause flash flooding and mudslides.

"The double impact of the earthquake and the imminent storm could increase the number of people seriously affected and will make it even more difficult for the government and the different humanitarian actors to deliver humanitarian aid," said Federica Cecchet, IOM's Deputy Chief of Mission in Haiti. 

According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, Tropical Depression Grace is expected to cause torrential rains when it hits Haiti late on Monday or early Tuesday.

After the 7.2 earthquake struck on Saturday leaving – according to the last provisional data from the Haitian Civil Protection Directorate (DPC) – close to 1,300 dead, around 3,200 injured and thousands of homes and public buildings destroyed, including schools and hospitals, IOM and other United Nations humanitarian teams are supporting government recovery efforts.

The DPC activated the National Emergency Operation Center (COUN) in Port-au-Prince, and the departmental centers in Sud, Grand'Anse and Nippes, the three departments worst affected by the earthquake. IOM teams are supporting official data collection, helping to evaluate losses, and providing lifesaving assistance.

According to preliminary tallies, more than 13,600 homes were destroyed or severely damaged, displacing thousands of residents, 470 of whom have sought protection in often improvised emergency shelters or host families. "These numbers will grow as data collection progresses, and one of the main priorities in the coming weeks will be the proper management of emergency shelters and humanitarian support for thousands of people who are displaced," said Cecchet.

On Saturday afternoon, Cecchet accompanied Haiti's Prime Minister Ariel Henry, the Minister of Justice Rockefeller Vincent, the Director of Civil Protection, Dr Gerard Jerry Chandler, representatives of UN agencies and donors on a reconnaissance flight to the affected areas. The aerial view reveals a bleak picture, Cecchet said. "Although the perception of the destruction is not widespread, the devastating impact on housing, public buildings, and road infrastructure is evident.”

The transport of aid to affected areas will be complicated by destruction and damage to roads and bridges. Some routes have been cut by landslides. On the third day after the quake, humanitarian teams have not yet reached many areas, especially in the department of Nippes.

IOM Haiti, in partnership with the Government, is co-leading the response for Shelter, Non-Food Items (NFI) and Camp Management (CCCM) sectors. Thanks to the support of the US Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) and the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), distributions have already started to provide quick, lifesaving assistance to the most vulnerable, including blankets, hygiene kits, jerrycans, repairs material, and tarpaulins.

To reduce the risks associated with COVID-19, IOM will distribute COVID-19 washable masks as part of the NFI distribution activities and disseminate essential COVID-19 awareness and prevention messaging through the distribution of flyers, sound trucks, community outreach and social media.

IOM’s psychologists will provide specialized psychosocial support, including the Prevention of Abuse and Sexual Exploitation (PSEA) and complaint handling.  In addition, IOM’s free 840 hotline remains open to make a complaint or provide feedback, as well as to receive information or psychosocial support.


For more information, please contact Antón Galán Torrego at IOM Haiti, Tel: +509 4612-0436, Email:

Language English Posted: Monday, August 16, 2021 - 20:03Image: Region-Country: HaitiDefault: Multimedia: 

After the 7.2 earthquake struck on Saturday leaving – according to the last provisional data from the Haitian Civil Protection Directorate (DPC) – close to 1,300 dead, around 3,200 injured and thousands of homes and public buildings destroyed, including schools and hospitals. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Crisis ResponseEnvironment and Climate Change
Categories: PBN

IOM Director General Statement on the Situation in Afghanistan

Tue, 08/10/2021 - 13:37

Geneva – I am extremely concerned by the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan – particularly the impact on mobile and displaced populations, including returnees.  

The last few days have seen a deadly escalation of fighting in Helmand, Kandahar, Herat, Kunduz and Nimroz provinces, adding untold suffering in a country where over 5 million people are already displaced internally. 

As the number of people displaced due to conflict around the country increases to more than 359,000 newly displaced in 2021, IOM will continue to support the people of Afghanistan, providing emergency shelter, core relief items, emergency health services and protection assistance to displaced persons. Added to the internal displacement dynamics, Afghanistan continues to see record numbers of undocumented returnees in 2021; over 680,000 Afghans returned in the first seven months of this year, according to the Border Monitoring Team of the Directorate of Refugees and Repatriation (DoRR). 

The country is also in the throes of a third wave of COVID-19 and a severe drought. These factors leave almost half of Afghanistan’s population in need of emergency relief assistance, with needs expected to continue to rise.    

IOM, along with the rest of the humanitarian community, is committed to stay and deliver relief and assistance to mobile and displaced populations in Afghanistan. We will continue to operate in a neutral and impartial manner but insist on unimpeded access and assurances that our staff and service providers can deliver assistance and services – particularly to women and girls and those most vulnerable - without interference.   

We urge all parties to the conflict and neighbouring countries to do everything they can to ensure that border crossing-points remain open, and humanitarian workers are able to access vulnerable populations in the border areas.  

I also call on the international community and our donors to support our efforts and not abandon Afghanistan at this critical moment. 


For more information, please contact: 

In Bangkok: Itayi Viriri, Email:, Tel: +66659390934 

In Geneva: Safa Msehli, Email:, Tel: +41794035526  

In Afghanistan, Hadees Mohammad Pardes, Email:, Tel: +93708198216 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2021 - 19:32Image: Region-Country: AfghanistanDefault: Multimedia: 

More than 5 million Afghans are Displaced internally, including these families in Herat. Photo: IOM/Mohammed Muse 2021

More than 5 million Afghans are Displaced internally, including these families in Herat. Photo: IOM/Mohammed Muse 2021

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Crisis ResponseInternational Cooperation and Partnerships
Categories: PBN

Migrants Warned of Dangers of Land Mines on the Balkan Route

Tue, 08/10/2021 - 09:24

Sarajevo – Migrants attempting to cross into Western Europe via the so-called Balkan route face several risks including drowning, abuse, exploitation and gender-based violence. Added to that is the risk posed by land mines. 

The Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Centre estimates that there are 180,000 unexploded mines left over from the wars of the 1990s. Over 130,000 have been removed, and 617 lives have been lost. A migrant died in a land mine explosion over the border in Croatia earlier this year, illustrating the need for outreach on the dangers of mines. 

The country has five temporary reception centres, which accommodate some 3,400 migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, sub-Saharan and North Africa. More than a half that number again stay outside official centres, according to data compiled by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the most recent IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix report.   

To alert migrants and IOM Outreach staff about the danger of land mines, IOM recently concluded a series of training sessions in the temporary reception centres.   

“Very few migrants know that there are land mines in Bosnia and Herzegovina and, even if they are aware, they don’t know what to look for,” said Rajko Živak, one of the certified instructors. “We have warned them to be extra careful when they pass through remote or abandoned areas.”    

“We’ve shown them what mines look like, how well hidden and sneaky they can be,” added his colleague Slađan Panić. “Most importantly, we’ve stressed that mines are a permanent danger even years after they have long been forgotten about.”  

All ten sessions were translated into Arabic, Urdu, Pashtu, Farsi, Dari, Bengali, and other languages spoken by the migrants.     

The vision of the United Nations is a world free from the threat of mines, explosive remnants of war, cluster munitions, and improvised explosive devices, where individuals and communities live in a safe environment conducive to sustainable peace and development. No one should be left behind; the human rights and needs of victims must be met, and they should be integrated fully as equal members of their societies (United Nations Mine Action Strategy, 2019-2023). 

For more information, please contact Joe Lowry at IOM’s Regional Office in Vienna, Tel: +43660 3776404, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2021 - 13:56Image: Region-Country: Bosnia and HerzegovinaDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM trainers informing migrants and staff on how to spot land mines.

IOM trainers informing migrants and staff on how to spot land mines.

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Crisis ResponseDTMInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration ManagementReducing Global Inequalities
Categories: PBN

IOM Launches Country Strategy for Mozambique

Thu, 08/05/2021 - 03:16

Maputo – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) today launched the Country Strategy for Mozambique, culminating a development process undertaken jointly with the Government of Mozambique and development partners. The strategy lays out programming plans for the 2021-2023 period, focused around three strategic priorities: Migration Governance, Promoting Resilience and Durable Solutions, and Humanitarian Preparedness and Response.

“IOM Mozambique is committed to promote well-managed migration as a key factor for development, by supporting the Government of Mozambique and its partners to implement whole-of-government migration governance approaches that support resilient communities,” said IOM Mozambique Chief of Mission, Laura Tomm-Bonde. “This Strategy lays out plans for continued programming to maximize migration as a contributor to development, while simultaneously responding to those on the move who are in urgent need of support.”

Mozambique is affected by multifaceted migration issues: more than 800,000 persons have been internally displaced due to natural disasters as well as insecurity since 2017. The country is located along the Southern Route migration corridor, frequently used by migrants from East and the Horn of Africa to travel to South Africa. In this context of dynamic human mobility, Mozambique is presented with both challenge and opportunity to leverage the complex relationship between migration and development.

“The IOM Mozambique Strategy follows Mozambique’s own development strategy, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Francisco Neto Novela, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, in his remarks during the Strategy launch. “The launch of this Strategy will allow IOM Mozambique to have a new dynamic to its activities. We thank IOM for inclusion and consultation in the elaboration of the strategy.”

“Southern Africa is a region historically characterized by dynamic human mobility that contributes to countries’ economies and also livelihoods of communities,” said Charles Kwenin, Regional Director at the IOM Regional Office for Southern Africa. “This strategy responds to Mozambique’s context and national development agenda. It is embedded in IOM’s belief that migration is a human reality, which if well managed, will benefit countries of origin, transit, and destination, as well as the migrants and society as a whole.”

The Strategy was developed in close coordination with the Government and also included a Government review workshop. Furthermore, IOM consulted a vast number of actors, including NGOs, UN agencies, donors and other partners, through online questionnaires. 

IOM continues to work closely with the Government of Mozambique and various stakeholders on the multifaceted migration issues affecting the country. IOM is the Government of Mozambique’s key partner in continuously improving migration management and governance and safeguarding the dignity and protection of migrants and migration-affected communities. 

The IOM Country Strategy for Mozambique 2021 – 2023 is aligned to IOM’s Continental Strategy for Africa as well as IOM’s Regional Strategy for Southern Africa, in order to consider both regional and continental migration dynamics which reach beyond national boundaries. The Strategy is consistent with the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the SDGs) as well as the objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, to which Mozambique is a signatory.

The IOM Country Strategy for Mozambique is available on the IOM Publications website in English and in Portuguese.

For additional information, please contact Sascha Nlabu at IOM Mozambique, Phone: +258 86 801 2222, Email or Manuel Mabuiangue at IOM Mozambique, Tel:  +258 84 734 5420, Email:

Language English Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2021 - 09:12Image: Region-Country: MozambiqueDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Mozambique Chief of Mission and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation speak at the launch of the IOM Country Strategy for Mozambique 2021–2023. © IOM /Manuel Mabuiangue.

IOM staff, Government of Mozambique and development partners together launch the IOM Country Strategy for Mozambique 2021–2023. © IOM /Manuel Mabuiangue.

Press Release Type: Localtags 2021: Migration Management
Categories: PBN

Humanitarian Flight Safely Returns Ethiopian Migrants From Yemen

Tue, 08/03/2021 - 13:48

Sana’a/Addis Ababa – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), with the authorities in Sana’a, Yemen, and the Government of Ethiopia, successfully transported 79 Ethiopian migrants, including 19 women and 14 children to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia today (03/08) in its first Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) flight from Sana’a since 2019.

“IOM stands ready and willing to continue this collaborative return effort in line with international protocols and standards, and hopes this movement is the first of many from Sana’a,” said Carmela Godeau, IOM’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Today’s flight comes four days after World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, which aims to combat all forms of exploitation around the world.  Migrants in Yemen face grave risks to their safety and dignity and are routinely impacted by smuggling and trafficking. They also face many barriers to accessing essential services and support.

IOM’s VHR programme is one way the Organization assists migrants in the country and prevents them from falling victim to further abuse and harm.

“Greater efforts are urgently needed to ensure that all migrants in Yemen who wish to come home have the opportunity to do so in a dignified and voluntary manner,” said Malambo Moonga, head of IOM Ethiopia’s Migration Management Unit. 

IOM carries out medical and protection screenings prior to departure to ensure that returnees are fit to travel and provides essential humanitarian items to those in need.

In coordination with the Ethiopian government and civil society organizations, IOM has set up a reception centre in Addis Ababa where the migrants will be provided with assistance and protection services including mental health and psychosocial support. The migrants will also receive cash and onward transportation assistance to help them reach their communities of origin.

The Organization also supports family tracing and the reunification of unaccompanied migrant children. IOM also provides life-saving support to migrants through health care, food and water across the Horn of Africa and Yemen.

Today’s voluntary return flight is funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), the humanitarian bureau of the U.S. State Department and the German government. Post-arrival assistance in Addis Ababa is supported by the European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), and by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian (OCHA) Affairs Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund.

For more information, please contact:

Avand Hasan at IOM Yemen, Phone: +967 730 556 688, Email:
Mohammedali Abunjela at IOM’s Regional Office in Cairo, Phone: +20 100 300 4406, Email:  
Kaye Viray at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251993531220, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 19:42Image: Region-Country: YemenDefault: Multimedia: 

A member of the IOM team at the entrance to Sana'a airport in Yemen takes the temperatures of children who returned to Ethiopia today through a voluntary humanitarian return flight. © IOM 2021 

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Migration ManagementReturn and Reintegration
Categories: PBN

Lack of Access to Information and Justice Among Main Challenges of Families of Missing Migrants in Zimbabwe

Tue, 08/03/2021 - 11:54

Harare/Berlin – Families in Zimbabwe whose loved ones have gone missing migrating to other countries face serious challenges in the search for their relatives according to the fourth in a series of reports from the International Organization of Migration’s (IOM) Global Migration Data Analysis Centre.

The report, Families of missing migrants in Zimbabwe: Their search for answers, the impacts of loss and recommendations for improved support,” indicates a general lack of awareness and understanding of the needs of families of missing migrants has resulted in inadequate or non-existent institutional responses to support them with their search efforts.

These families also must cope with devastating legal, financial and administrative impacts of the absence. 

“Data that sufficiently captures the needs of the families of missing migrants in Zimbabwe is scarce, and is not taken into account in the planning of policies and services,” said GMDAC Director Frank Laczko in Berlin.

“As a result, families receive little support in their search for their relatives, which exacerbates the psychological and emotional impacts of their loss."

The report series is based on conversations with 76 families of missing migrants in Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Research carried out in Zimbabwe’s Manicaland province found that most of the families did not know where to start or whom to contact when they stopped hearing from loved ones who migrated to another countries, primarily South Africa. Many were unaware they could report disappearances to the authorities or did not know which agency or unit they should approach to file reports.  

The families’ testimonies indicate that the disappearance of their relatives and the lack of institutional support have also contributed to ongoing psychological anguish, as families live in a constant state of apprehension and ambiguous loss as a result of not knowing what happened to their relatives. 

“The years I have lost my brother have been the most painful years, not only for me but for all of us as a family,” said Mr. Foroma, who has been searching for his brother who went missing on his journey to South Africa. “When your brother goes missing like this, without a trace, not a day would pass by without thinking about it and reliving the pain.” 

In 2015, nearly 200 countries pledged to “leave no one behind” as they adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Three years later, in 2018, more than 150 countries adopted the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) and committed to “save lives (…), identify those who have died or gone missing, and to facilitate communication with affected families”. 

Still, missing migrants and their families remain invisible in data and policy debates about safe migration. This data gap and the lack of adequate efforts to listen to their voices and address their needs leads to their persistent exclusion and marginalization. 

The report, produced by GMDAC and the Missing Migrants Project in collaboration with the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, proposes blueprints for authorities, including those in Zimbabwe, to provide a uniform response to cases of missing migrants and support to their families left behind.  

Moving forward, IOM plans to work together with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and government counterparts in Zimbabwe and South Africa to develop and improve mechanisms, tools and procedures that will help the families of missing migrants find answers about their missing relatives.  

For more information, contact:  

In Berlin: Jorge Galindo, Email:, Tel: +49 160 179 1536 

In Harare: Fadzai Nyamande-Pangeti Email: ,, Tel: +263242704285  

In Pretoria: Abibo Ngandu, Email:, Tel: +27712449291  

In Geneva: Safa Msehli, Email:, Tel: +41 79 403 5526 


Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 16:43Image: Region-Country: ZimbabweDefault: Multimedia: 

The new report by the Missing Migrants Project provides recommendations to assist Zimbabweans who are missing relatives on migration journeys. Photo: IOM/Salam Shokor

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Crisis ResponseGMDACInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMissing Migrants
Categories: PBN

Solomon Islands Commits to Acceding to the UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol

Tue, 08/03/2021 - 11:29

Honiara – The Government of Solomon Islands and non-government counterparts met today (03/08) at a high-level national consultation in Honiara to support the process of acceding to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (TIP Protocol).

Through a Training and Technical Assistance Program funded by the U.S. Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, IOM has been supporting the Government of Solomon Islands since early 2020 to conduct national sensitization and hold a series of provincial consultations on the accession process.

IOM has also supported Solomon Islands with a comprehensive legal compliance review, to highlight amendments that would bring the national legislation of Solomon Islands into greater alignment with the mandatory elements of UNTOC and the TIP Protocol.

Today’s consultative workshop marked one of the last steps prior to the Government’s Cabinet submission for accession and served to reconfirm the national commitment articulated as a key priority under the Solomon Islands National Action Plan Against Human Trafficking and People Smuggling (2020 – 2025).

“The National Consultation ensured that we gathered inputs from all relevant Ministries and stakeholders to effectively contribute to the final stages of the accession process,” said Christopher Akosawa, Acting Director of Immigration for Solomon Islands.

Entering into compliance with UNTOC and the TIP Protocol is not only a strong signal of Solomon Islands’ growing commitment to international legal standards but will also help to strengthen protective services for victims of trafficking and drive the prosecution of perpetrators.

For more information, please contact Nathalie Hanley at IOM Solomon Islands, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 17:13Image: Region-Country: Solomon IslandsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Localtags 2021: Crisis ResponseInternational Cooperation and Partnerships
Categories: PBN

Urgent Support Needed as Thousands of Cox’s Bazar Community Members Lose Livelihoods

Tue, 08/03/2021 - 10:16

Cox’s Bazar – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is concerned about the over 80,000 community members in Ukhiya and Teknaf sub-districts in Cox’s Bazar who have lost their income and possessions to the devastating floods that have swept the city since 27 July.  

Close to 2,500 vegetable gardens have been partially or fully damaged, and 140 trees have been knocked down, raising concerns about soil erosion and further landslides caused by what residents describe as the heaviest rainfall in more than ten years. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing lockdown have already left millions of people across the country unemployed and struggling to make ends meet,” said Manuel Marques Pereira, IOM Deputy Chief of Mission in Bangladesh.  

“Many had managed to recover through different livelihood opportunities offered by the humanitarian community but are now forced to start again from zero.”  

Mostafa Khatun, a widow, has been the breadwinner in her family for years. In 2020, she received a cash grant from IOM and attended a training on vegetable cultivation and poultry farming. She used the grant to buy the necessary materials to start her business and has since been relying on it for her monthly income.  

“I lost my vegetable garden in the floods, as well as 10 hens and my shelter,” Mostafa said. “I am currently sleeping in my neighbour’s goat shed. I don’t know where to go from here.” 

The rapid urbanization of both Teknaf and Ukhiya sub-districts may have led to the obstruction of the natural drainage system, causing rainwater to accumulate rapidly leading to flash floods. 

IOM has been supporting local Cyclone Preparedness Programme volunteers to disseminate early warning messages on landslides and evacuation since the monsoon rains began, reaching over 175,000 people living in 244 vulnerable areas across Cox’s Bazar District.  

The local administration quickly opened the cyclone shelters where thousands of displaced families have since taken refuge. They are currently being assisted with relief items, protection and medical support. 

IOM’s livelihoods programme provides host community members with different types of income-generating activities. Since 2017, close to 11,000 host community members have accessed livelihood opportunities, and more than 6,000 Rohingya refugees have received self-reliance services. 

Many community members have now lost all their livelihoods and assets in the floods, including livestock, fisheries and crops, and are in need of immediate recovery support. Over 3,000 people who received livelihoods support face thousands of dollars in losses. 

Many people said they drastically reduced the quality and quantity of their daily meals, used their savings or credit to purchase food, or became entirely dependent on external support in order to survive since the rains began. 

IOM assessment teams conducted an emergency needs assessment in Teknaf to better understand the immediate and midterm impact of the floods on the lives and livelihoods of host communities. 

The assessment highlighted the immediate need to rebuild damaged houses, latrines, bathing sheds and roads in the affected villages, and the need for multipurpose cash grants to recover people’s belongings. 

Urgent support is required to help host community members affected by the floods, as well as for the refugees currently residing in camps in Cox’s Bazar. Download the IOM Bangladesh 2021 Appeal here

The Disaster Risk Reduction support for host communities such as the Cyclone Preparedness Programme and rehabilitation of cyclone shelters, and part of IOM’s livelihood opportunities for host communities in Cox’s Bazar are supported by USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance. 

For more information, please contact:   

In Cox’s Bazar: Monica Chiriac, Tel: +880 18 8009 4048, Email: 

In Bangkok:  Itayi Viriri, Tel: +66 65 939 0934, Email: 

In Geneva: Paul Dillon, Tel: +41 79 636 9874, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 15:56Image: Region-Country: BangladeshDefault: Multimedia: 

Mostafa is one of the 80,000 people who lost their livelihoods in the massive floods that swept Cox’s Bazar. Photo: IOM

Close to 2,500 vegetable gardens have been partially or fully damaged, and 140 trees have been wiped out. Photo: IOM 

Close to 2,500 vegetable gardens have been partially or fully damaged, and 140 trees have been wiped out. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Crisis ResponseEnvironment and Climate ChangeInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsLivelihoods
Categories: PBN

IOM and Sustainable Hospitality Alliance Launch Multi-Year Partnership to Promote Ethical Recruitment, Protect Migrant Workers in Tourism

Fri, 07/30/2021 - 04:15

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (the Alliance) said today the launch of a multi-year partnership would promote ethical recruitment and the protection of migrant workers in the tourism industry. 

IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and combats all forms of exploitation of migrant workers. The Alliance convenes the world’s leading hotel companies to drive responsible business in the industry. With valued support from the US Department of State’s Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration, the two organizations will propel cooperation between the private sector, policy makers and civil society to prevent irregular migration, address unethical recruitment and promote good practice across the industry.  

Madhu Rajesh, the Alliance’s CEO, said the hospitality industry offered opportunities to hundreds of millions of workers worldwide. “Recruitment processes differ, especially across borders, and that’s why it’s essential for businesses to have robust due diligence processes and transparency throughout the recruitment and migration process,” Rajesh said. 

The partnership will harness the multi-stakeholder model of IOM’s IRIS: Ethical Recruitment global initiative to promote regular pathways for migrant workers and protect them throughout the labour migration process. It will target key migration corridors in the Latin America region, as well as between East Africa and select States of the Gulf Cooperation Council. 

Monica Goracci, Director of IOM’s Department of Migration Management, said the partnership is an exciting endeavour. “It leverages the combined influence of both organizations to effectively promote ethical recruitment and build respect for the rights of migrant workers.” 

IOM’s Labour Mobility and Human Development Division focuses on the protection of migrant workers and seeks to enhance the benefits of labour migration for all parties involved. The division operates IRIS: Ethical Recruitment with support from governments, civil society, the labour movement, private sector, and ethical recruiters.  

The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance works with their members and other partners to raise awareness of human rights risks in the hospitality industry, embed human rights into corporate governance, and address risks arising in the labour supply chain. This includes working to unite the industry behind a set of Principles on Forced Labour. It also provides free tools and training to support the wider industry to recognize and mitigate human rights risks. 

“We are delighted to be partnering with the International Organization for Migration,” the Alliance’s Rajesh said.  “The combination of their expertise and the practical insight we can provide from the hospitality industry, will work towards supporting and promoting good practice and protecting workers.” 


For more information, please contact Sarah McGregor, IOM, Email:, or Emily McLeish, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, Email: 


About International Organization for Migration 

Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental, and non-governmental partners. With 174 member states, a further 8 states holding observer status and offices in over 100 countries, IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants. 

IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people. 

About Sustainable Hospitality Alliance 

The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance brings together engaged hospitality companies and uses the collective power of the industry to deliver impact locally and on a global scale. It works with leading hospitality companies and strategic partners to address key challenges affecting our planet and its people and develop free practical resources and programmes to enable the wider industry to operate responsibly and grow sustainably. Their members make up 25 per cent of the global hotel industry by rooms and include 13 world-leading hotel companies. 

Language English Posted: Friday, July 30, 2021 - 09:51Image: Region-Country: GlobalDefault: Multimedia: 

A multi-year partnership between IOM and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance aims to promote ethical recruitment and build respect for the rights of migrant workers. Photo: Muse Mohammad/IOM

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: International Cooperation and PartnershipsLabour MigrationMigration ManagementReducing Global Inequalities
Categories: PBN

IOM Rushes to Help Refugees as Deadly Monsoon Rains Wreak Havoc in Bangladesh

Fri, 07/30/2021 - 03:30

Cox’s Bazar – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said today many of the more than 13,000 Rohingya refugees forced out of their camps by flooding in Cox's Bazar which has killed at least six people were returning to their shelters to salvage belongings after a break in heavy rains, but the risk of more casualties remained high. 

IOM said a total of more than 21,000 refugees had been affected and almost 4,000 shelters were destroyed. Food distribution centres, health facilities and water points have been damaged during three days of non-stop rain.  

The six confirmed dead were killed in landslides or drowned in two IOM-managed camps and officials fear more flooding and landslides will prevent help reaching others among the total of 884,000 Rohingya refugees in the country. 

 Access to the camps is hazardous as constant landslides block the main roads leading to the camps, and major routes used by refugees and humanitarian actors are under water. 

Up to 2,000 people have been evacuated from landslide-prone areas in Teknaf upazila (sub-district).  

“Heavy rainfall is expected during the next few days, and as such, challenges are likely to increase,” said Manuel Marques Pereira, IOM Deputy Chief of Mission in Bangladesh.  

“Over the past few months, IOM has been assessing the risk of landslides, strengthening drainage networks, installing slope protection measures and upgrading key pathways. However, despite multiple disaster risk reduction measures being implemented, the camp congestion, excessive rain and poor soil quality, make it extremely difficult to cope with the elements,” Pereira said. 

One hundred Rohingya Disaster Management Unit (DMU) volunteers trained in each camp have been working around the clock and focusing on helping the most vulnerable, including the elderly and pregnant women.  IOM teams are assessing the damage and working closely with the different sectors to refer those affected for relevant assistance. Mobile medical teams have been deployed and the protection emergency response unit has been activated. 

Staff on the ground are clearing drainage pipes, repairing damage and distributing emergency shelter kits, core relief items, and aquatabs to prevent waterborne diseases. 

IOM has sent in Cyclone Preparedness Programme volunteers to urgently assist host community members.  

Families have taken refuge in six different multi-purpose cyclone shelters where they are currently being assisted with relief items, protection and medical support. Since 2019, IOM has been supporting the rehabilitation of MPCS so community members can take shelter in case of disasters.  

The current flood emergency further exacerbates the massive humanitarian needs of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. After almost four years since the latest influx of Rohingya refugees who arrived in Bangladesh from neighbouring Myanmar, IOM is relying on its partners to continue to support the response.   

Additional support is needed to enable teams to continue to assist those affected, as well as the rest of the refugees currently residing in the camps. As always, IOM advocates for the continuation of a comprehensive humanitarian assistance for refugees across all camps. 

Download the IOM Bangladesh 2021 Appeal here

For more information, please contact:  

In Cox’s Bazar: Monica Chiriac, Tel: +880 18 8009 4048, Email:  
In Bangkok:  Itayi Viriri, Tel: +66 65 939 0934, Email:  
In Geneva: Paul Dillon, Tel: +41 79 636 9874, Email: 
Language English Posted: Friday, July 30, 2021 - 15:00Image: Region-Country: BangladeshDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM, Rohingya volunteers and partners are working relentlessly to assist those affected by this week’s heavy rains in Bangladesh. Photo: IOM/Mashrif Abdullah Al 

IOM, Rohingya volunteers and partners are working relentlessly to assist those affected by this week’s heavy rains in Bangladesh. Photo: IOM/Mashrif Abdullah Al 

IOM, Rohingya volunteers and partners are working relentlessly to assist those affected by this week’s heavy rains in Bangladesh. Photo: IOM/Mashrif Abdullah Al 

IOM, Rohingya volunteers and partners are working relentlessly to assist those affected by this week’s heavy rains in Bangladesh. Photo: IOM/Mashrif Abdullah Al 

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Crisis ResponseEnvironment and Climate Change
Categories: PBN

Joint Statement: States Must Step Up Action to End Alarming Rise in Trafficking in Children

Thu, 07/29/2021 - 11:55

Geneva/New York – Despite progress during the past 20 years, trafficking in persons, particularly children, remains a high-profit, low-risk crime and a more concerted effort is needed to fight it, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children (SRSG) said today.

Marking the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, António Vitorino, IOM's Director General, and Najat Maalla M’jid, the Secretary-General's Special Representative, made the following statement:

Today, one year after the twentieth anniversary of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, we commend States on the progress made in the fight against trafficking in persons. Most countries now have and are implementing laws against human trafficking. Greater efforts are being made to apprehend and prosecute traffickers, and the rights and needs of trafficked persons to adequate care and protection are widely acknowledged.

However, despite all the work that has been undertaken over the last two decades, trafficking in persons, and in particular of children, continues to be a high profit–low risk crime, based upon the principles of supply and demand. Moreover, the impact of COVID-19 has increased the number of persons that find themselves in precarious situations where they are more prone to become victims of traffickers who prey on those who are vulnerable to take advantage and exploit them.

As the Secretary-General stated in his report on trafficking in women and girls to the seventy-fifth session of the General Assembly, progress in elimination of trafficking remains slow. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2020 highlights that between 2017 and 2018, a total of 74,514 victims of trafficking were detected in over 110 countries. In 2018, for every 10 victims detected globally, about five were adult women and two were girls.

These figures in themselves are deeply concerning, but the reality is much grimmer, as it represents only a fraction of the real scope of trafficking around the globe.

This year we would like to highlight the specific vulnerability of children to trafficking. Child trafficking is one of the worst forms of violence against children, affecting an alarming number of children globally. About one third of the overall detected victims are children. Data from UNODC indicates that child trafficking has tripled in the past 15 years and the share of boys has increased five times.

Current research shows that migrant children are highly vulnerable to trafficking or related forms of exploitation. Data from IOM and UNICEF indicates that 8 out of 10 migrant children travelling the Central Mediterranean Route to Europe report exploitation which may amount to human trafficking. Children on this route are regularly held against their will, forced to work, or experience wage theft.

Trafficking is both a form of and a result of violence against children. Children are treated like commodities which are bought, sold, traded and used over and over again. Trafficked children face physical, psychological and sexual violence from their traffickers and abusers. They are denied the opportunities for appropriate education and development and saddled with lingering economic after-effects such as indebtedness, all of which can have severe negative impacts on their lifelong health and wellbeing.

We would like to emphasize IOM´s and SRSG´s unwavering commitment towards combatting trafficking in persons. We also reiterate the importance placed in partnerships to address the multifaceted needs generated by this phenomenon – as we have learned – based on more than 30 years of experience in providing assistance worldwide. We know that isolated interventions in one area alone are not effective and that we need comprehensive approaches that not only respond to immediate needs but that also address the driving forces and the demand side of trafficking in persons, which are crucial to achieving Agenda 2030, while building back better.

We must also learn from the victims and their struggles. Their strength in expressing their concerns, sharing their stories, suffering, abuse as well as their determination to help build

improved responses is not only crucial but also inspiring for all of us. IOM, to date, has assisted over 100,000 victims of trafficking to regain their freedom and start on their path to recovery.

As 2021 is the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, and under the overall theme of the Global Campaign of the UN Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons, we appeal for accelerated action to end child trafficking.

For more information, contact:

Kennedy Okoth at IOM Geneva, Email:

Annette Lyth at UN New York, Email:

Language English Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2021 - 17:49Image: Region-Country: GlobalDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Counter-traffickingMigration Management
Categories: PBN

Long-Term Policies Key to Integrating Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela, New MPI-IOM Report Finds

Thu, 07/29/2021 - 11:08

Findings will be discussed during webinar at 10 a.m. ET / UTC-4 TODAY 

WASHINGTON  The socio-economic integration of Venezuelan refugees and migrants being hosted by countries in Latin America has been set back by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study that examines key issues such as economic inclusion, social cohesion and access to education and health care.  

The findings draw from a new analysis of Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) and other data by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The report explores the progression of socio-economic integration of refugees and migrants from Venezuela over three periods between 2017 and 2021 in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, which host more than 70 per cent of the 5.6 million Venezuelans who have left Venezuela since 2015.  

The report finds Venezuelans in the five case-study countries experience unemployment at higher rates than the receiving-country population, with many losing jobs during the pandemic. The public-health crisis also has taken a toll on newcomers’ income, with Venezuelans surveyed in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru last fall reporting a more than 50 per cent drop since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. Irregularity has also been a significant obstacle to integration in Ecuador and Peru during the pandemic.  

With more Venezuelans reporting in surveys their intention to remain in their receiving countries, the report underscores the need for governments to transition from short-term humanitarian responses to longer-term integration policies.  

“While countries in the region have engaged in creative and often ad hoc policies to regularize their Venezuelan populations, significant shares still lack regular migration status. This suggests the need to redouble efforts to provide access to regular immigration status,” said MPI President Andrew Selee. “These findings demonstrate the importance of improving the credential recognition processes for refugees and migrants from Venezuela as a fundamental part of their socioeconomic integration.” In turn, Venezuelans contribute positively to the GDP of those countries that receive them, he said. 

The IOM Director General’s Special Envoy for the Regional Response to the Venezuela Situation, Diego Beltrand, said: “Therefore, from the R4V Regional Coordination Platform jointly led by IOM and UNHCR, it is important to continue supporting the socioeconomic integration of this population, which requires USD 256 million, 18 per cent of the total requested in the Regional Response Plan for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela 2021.” 

Among other findings of the report, Socioeconomic Integration of Venezuelan Migrants and Refugees: The Cases of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru: 

  • In all five countries, Venezuelans reported working longer hours and earning less than their counterparts, with high levels of informality and independent work that make them more vulnerable to exploitative working conditions and poverty. 
  • The educational credentials of Venezuelans tend to be equal to or higher than those of the receiving-country population, yet significant barriers prevent them from working in their areas of expertise. Just 10 per cent of Venezuelans in Chile, Colombia and Peru report having had their professional and educational credentials recognized as of October 2020. 
  • Despite government efforts to adopt regularization programmes, 40 per cent or more of Venezuelans in the five countries studied, except for Brazil, lacked regular status almost throughout each of the time periods evaluated.  
  • Venezuelans are relatively young and more likely to be of working age than receiving-country populations. While men were over-represented in the initial study period, the flows are now more equally distributed by gender and with families becoming increasingly prevalent. As a result, securing access to education for children is becoming increasingly critical. Despite generally guaranteed access to education, barriers including lack of documents and classroom capacity constraints have resulted in a significant number of out-of-school children, with the notable exception of Chile, where enrollment ranged from 85 – 93 per cent.  
  • While Chile and Brazil have universal health-care systems, barriers to access, including misinformation, fear of deportation and discrimination persist. In Peru, while access to health insurance improved over time, just 10 per cent of Venezuelans reported having subsidized insurance. 
  • In all the countries except Brazil, the share of Venezuelan migrants and refugees who reported experiencing discrimination grew between 2017 and 2021, with the most prominent increases in Colombia and Peru.  

“As Venezuela’s political crisis continues and the broader region grapples with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, Venezuelan migration is unlikely to stop any time soon,” said MPI analysts Diego Chaves-González, Jordi Amaral and María Jesús Mora. “It is crucial that the region’s governments make a concerted effort to promote the socio-economic integration of Venezuelan migrants and refugees and that the international donor community supports them in doing so.” 

Read the report here. It is also available in Spanish

The report marks the latest research collaboration between MPI and IOM, using DTM data to map experiences for Venezuelan migrants and refugees. An earlier fact sheet used DTM data to paint a picture of the differing socio-economic profiles, living conditions and future intentions regarding settlement or onward movement for Venezuelan expatriates in 11 Latin American and Caribbean countries.   


The IOM Director General’s Special Envoy for the Regional Response to the Venezuela Situation, Diego Beltrand; MPI President Andrew Selee; Organization of American States (OAS) Department of Social Inclusion Director Betilde Muñoz-Pogossian; Marcos Maia, Director of the Management Department of Brazil’s National Secretariat of Social Assistance; and Unión Venezolana en Perú President Oscar Pérez are among the experts who will discuss the situation for Venezuelan migrants and refugees, as well as the report findings, during a webinar (English and Spanish, with simultaneous interpretation) at 10 a.m. ET / UTC-4 TODAY. For a list of speakers and to register, click here.  


For more information, please contact: 

Bryan Brennan, IOM,  

Daniela Rovina, IOM,   

Michelle Mittelstadt, MPI, 

Language English Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2021 - 16:57Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaDefault: Multimedia: 

A new report from the Migration Policy Institute and International Organization for Migration explores the socio-economic integration of Venezuelans between 2017 and 2021 in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, where more than 70 per cent of Venezuelans abroad reside. Photo: IOM Chile 

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: DTMData and ResearchInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsPolicy
Categories: PBN

Fiji wraps up national consultations on climate related mobility

Thu, 07/22/2021 - 09:12

Suva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) co-hosted a virtual national consultation on climate related mobility in Fiji in coordination with the Climate Change and International Cooperation Division of the Ministry of Economy on 20 and 21 July. The consultation, held under the Pacific Climate Change Migration and Human Security (PCCM-HS) programme, brought together 40 government officials, civil society organizations and NGO’s to review the human security implications of climate change related migration, displacement and planned relocation, share experiences about how climate related mobility is impacting communities and talk towards the development of a regional based solution.

The consultations gathered participants from across Fiji in a multitude of various sectors to continue discussions that would support with the identification of Fiji’s position on climate related mobility, including exploring potential options at the national and regional level to ensure the protection of climate migrants.

Through this, the PCCMHS programme aims to ensure that Fiji’s national perspectives and experiences build towards and informs the development of a regional framework on climate change related migration, displacement and planned relocation. Moreover, the national consultations aim to cultivate a shared understanding and common approach to climate related mobility within Fiji and across the Pacific.

In opening, H.E Hon. Voreqe Bainimarma, Prime Minister of Fiji emphasized that the “Pacific Islands face the unique challenge of having to protect the lives, livelihood and dignity of people who are forced from their traditional homes by climate change. Whether it be internal movement or movement across borders, we need to consider the trauma of people leaving their homes, their source of livelihoods, their cultural heritage and more”. In addition, the Honourable Prime Minister, went further to add that “whilst we in Fiji have options available to us to relocate our affected communities internally, some of our low-lying neighbours do not have the same luxury. At the current rate of emission, the displacement of their people won't be internal but external, across borders. I now see it as our moral imperative to support our blue Pacific family as they begin the necessary discussions on this sensitive matter.”

Day one of the consultations laid out the scientific projections on the impacts of climate change by the Fiji Meteorological Service and was followed by a comprehensive presentation by Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office on the impacts of climate related mobility on rural communities and lessons learnt from previous experiences pertaining to community relocations. Interestingly, participants also got the opportunity to receive informative data relating to internal migration and emigration that was captured in Fiji’s migration profile.

Day two of the consultations provided participants with a comprehensive overview of national level policy and legislation that is a starting point to address and support communities adversely impacted by climate related mobility. Participants also reviewed the regional policies and discussions, identifying existing opportunities for collective action towards a secure, peaceful, prosperous region.

During group exercise, participants spoke of the cascading issues that would arise in the context of climate change in the year 2050. Participants stressed on the need to better inform at risk communities and plan methodically for an increase in the number of community relocations driven by climate change and disasters. Moreover, attendees also spoke of the necessity to improve social structures that would seek to inform and support both displaced and host communities. Mr. Shivanal Kumar from the Climate Change and International Cooperation Division, Ministry of Economy, highlighted that the “Government of Fiji has developed Planned Relocation Guidelines to reduce the vulnerabilities of the most at risk communities. Planned relocation is one adaptation technique to be considered by the affected communities, only when all adaptation options have been exhausted.”

In his closing address, Mr. Solomon Kantha, IOM Chief of Mission in Fiji spoke of the “visionary plan towards developing a regional framework that addresses the issues of climate related mobility in the Pacific region by creating safe migration pathways for migrating communities, upholds the human rights of migrant communities in the Pacific and recognizes the need to preserve and respect cultural identity”.


Fiji is the second country under the PCCMHS programme after Nauru to complete its national consultations on climate related mobility as the programme continues to make progress towards concluding similar style dialogues in Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, Tonga, Kiribati, FSM, RMI, Vanuatu, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Palau. In a similar note, the PCCMHS programme seeks to capture the national perspectives in all 13 Pacific Island Countries to ensure that any regional response to climate mobility is grounded in the voices of the community and respects national interests.

The programme is led by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) alongside the International Labour Organization (ILO), Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS). The joint agency PCCMHS programme is funded by the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security and the New Zealand Foreign Aid Programme.For more information contact

Sabira Coelho, Programme Manager, PCCMHS  at IOM Fiji. Email:

Christopher Yee, Programme Specialist, PCCMHS at IOM Fiji. Email:

Language English Posted: Thursday, July 22, 2021 - 14:38Image: Region-Country: FijiDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Localtags 2021: Environment and Climate ChangeInternational Cooperation and Partnerships
Categories: PBN

IOM Facilitates Return Home for Growing Trend of Irregular Migration between Malawi and Zimbabwe

Fri, 07/16/2021 - 07:00

PRETORIA - Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Southern Africa last March 2020, trends of irregular migration toward South Africa increased, due to the various socio-economic effects of the pandemic on many households.

The International Organization for Migration, through support from various partners such as the European Union-funded Southern African Migration Management (SAMM) project, Irish Government, The United Kingdom’s Foreign, and the Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), helped 397 stranded Malawian’s migrants to return home from Zimbabwe.

Between March and July 2021, IOM assisted 273 Malawian migrants with voluntary return assistance to their country of origin, in incremented groups, many of whom were stranded at the Beitbridge border point of entry, while attempting to reach South Africa. “The increasing number of stranded Malawian migrants in Zimbabwe en-route to South Africa depicts the current dynamics of human mobility in the context of the pandemic and a sustainable approach needs to be put in place to address the mobility patterns and the associated protection issues” says, Mario Lito Malanca, Chief of Mission, IOM Zimbabwe.

“Life was becoming challenging financially in Malawi due to lack of income, so I wanted to follow my husband who is already in South Africa, but I was stopped by the police in Zimbabwe and remained under their custody for three months, before IOM helped me come back to Malawi”, said 25-year-old Asiyatu Jafali, from Mwanyama village, who is one of the women of the recent assisted groups.

IOM Zimbabwe provides the returnees awaiting travel with a range of services which include pre-travel health assessments, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), COVID-19 tests, meal allowances, baby essentials packages where there are infants, sanitary wear and transportation. On arrival in Malawi, IOM Malawi provides returnees with psychosocial support through counselling; transport to their final destinations, PPE and in some cases, vulnerability assessments are done depending on availability of funds for reintegration assistance.

“I tried leaving my village of Kadzati in Malawi, to go to South Africa to find a job and support my family better, but since I had no proper documents, I was stopped in Zimbabwe and kept for 60 days”, said 27-year-old Mofati, one of the men assisted from the same latest group of returnees. “Now that IOM helped me return home, I would rather stay and look into opening my own business selling livestock”, he continued.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has undeniably affected many people livelihood all across the world, leading to an increasing number of persons opting to migrate in search of better opportunities, and Southern Africa is no exception”, said Charles Kwenin, IOM Regional Director for Southern Africa. “IOM remains committed to helping Governments in alleviating 

the many burdens faced by vulnerable migrants, through various humanitarian services, including assisted voluntary returns, thanks to the support from our donors”.

For more information, please contact Abibo Ngandu, IOM Regional Communication Officer, Fadzai Nyamande-Pangeti, IOM Zimbabwe Communication Officer, and Jacqueline Mpeni, IOM Malawi Communication Officer

Language English Posted: Friday, July 16, 2021 - 12:58Image: Region-Country: MalawiZimbabweDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM MALAWI distributes PPEs to the assisted Malawian returnees from Zimbabwe

Press Release Type: Localtags 2021: Migration Management
Categories: PBN

IOM Ethiopia Appeals for USD 40 Million to Assist Additional 1.6 Million People in Northern Ethiopia

Fri, 07/16/2021 - 05:41

Addis Ababa – Nearly two million people affected by the crisis in northern Ethiopia desperately need life-saving assistance, including water, medicine and shelter, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said today as it issued an urgent appeal for USD 40 million to help internally displaced men, women and children, including newborn babies. 

Since the outbreak of the conflict eight months ago in Ethiopia’s Tigray Regional State, millions of people are enduring unimaginable suffering, including forced displacement, hunger, death, and destruction of private and public property.  

In Tigray, IOM has been providing support to more than half a million people, including displaced children, women, men, and vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and persons with disabilities. This includes shelter and provision of essential items such as food, water, clothing, medicine and supplies for babies, as well as sanitation and hygiene services.

IOM has also been supporting camp coordination and management efforts, providing mental health care to those in need, and producing Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) reports to shed light on the evolving situation.

Nearly USD 70 million (USD 69.3M) is needed to respond to the needs of internally displaced populations in northern Ethiopia but only USD 28.7 million has been received this year. IOM needs an extra USD 40.6 million for the remainder of 2021 to be able to continue and further expand its response to help the displaced.

“The nearly two million people displaced by this crisis continue to live in inhumane and undignified conditions and require critical and urgent support,” said Maureen Achieng, IOM Chief of Mission to Ethiopia and Representative to the African Union and UNECA. “IOM Director General António Vitorino said it before, and we say it again: we must act without delay to meet the needs of people in the region.”  

The situation in Tigray remains volatile. In partnership and coordination with other UN agencies, IOM is committed to delivering life-saving humanitarian assistance, to continue reaching people in need. IOM is planning to significantly scale up response programming and increase the deployment of senior IOM staff in the region despite the severe shortage of funding. 

IOM’s response is aligned with the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group’s (ICCG) – a cooperative effort among sectors and the Humanitarian Country Team to improve the national response – Northern Ethiopia Response Plan, which estimates that 5.2 million people are in dire need in the worst-case scenario of this escalating humanitarian crisis. 

Read more on IOM’s Flash Appeal for northern Ethiopia here

For more information, please contact:   

Krizia Kaye Viray, IOM Ethiopia Public Information Officer, Email:, Tel: +25 1993531220 

Yvonne Ndege, IOM Regional Spokesperson for East and Horn of Africa in Nairobi, Email:,  Tel: +25 4797735977  

Language English Posted: Friday, July 16, 2021 - 10:45Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM appeals for additional funds to continue to provide life-saving assistance for displaced people in northern Ethiopia. Photo: IOM/ Kaye Viray

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Crisis ResponseInternal Displacement
Categories: PBN