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Updated: 36 min 44 sec ago

IOM Responds to Devastation Caused by La Soufriere Volcanic Eruption in St. Vincent

Fri, 04/23/2021 - 09:01

St. Vincent – The first members of the International Organization for Migration (IOM)'s emergency response team arrived today (23/04) in St. Vincent to support displacement tracking activities and the delivery of essential shelter and emergency items to thousands of people who were forcibly displaced by the eruption of La Soufriere volcano. 

The team will also provide technical guidance at shelters where more than 6,000 Vincentians now live. A shipment of approximately 1,200 hygiene kits and cleaning equipment will arrive from Trinidad and Tobago in the following hours.  

"The situation in St. Vincent is still uncertain. As the eruption can go on for months, this is a crisis that will require a humanitarian response but also a response in terms of rehabilitation," said Jan-Willem Wegdam, IOM´s Emergency Response Coordinator for La Soufriere Eruption.  

"This is a crisis that is not only affecting St. Vincent, but also, directly and indirectly, the other islands in the subregion.” 

After months of heightened activity, La Soufriere Volcano erupted on 9 April. The volcano has erupted several times since then and continues to expel clouds of ash that have reached the neighboring islands of Barbados and Grenada. The latest explosive eruption occurred on 18 April. According to national and regional experts, the volcano is likely to erupt for days and weeks – possibly months.   

As of April 21, the government registered 13,303 displaced persons. Nearly 6,600 are being housed in 85 public shelters, while more than 6,700 displaced persons are staying with family or friends. 

"There are some people who want to go to different countries, but it is not a large number," explained the Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves during a TV programme in Grenada. "They said they want to stay at home. I have been around several of the camps, and that's the message." 

On Tuesday, 20 April, the United Nations and the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines launched a USD 29 million global funding appeal. The appeal hopes to finance interventions to cover immediate needs – shelter, water, sanitation, food security and protection – and recovery-related activities on housing, education, and livelihoods.  

IOM will begin supporting the ongoing emergency operations by responding to the shelter and housing needs of some of the most vulnerable households affected. IOM will also support the emergency shelters and shelter management sub-committee, and a coordinator for these activities will be deployed to St. Vincent.  

These activities have been made possible with funding from Australian Aid and IOM’s Migration Emergency Fund Mechanism.  

For more information, please contact Jan-Willem Wegdam at IOM San Jose, email:  Tel: +1 (242) 805-8501 

Language English Posted: Friday, April 23, 2021 - 11:28Image: Region-Country: Saint Vincent And The GrenadinesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionInternal DisplacementInternational Cooperation and Partnerships
Categories: PBN

IOM and the Lao Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare Commemorate International Labour Day 2021

Fri, 04/23/2021 - 07:37

Vientiane – On 19 and 20 April, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MoLSW) convened an awareness raising campaign for the promotion of safe migration and ethical recruitment on the occasion of International Labour Day (1 May) and World Day against Child Labour (12 June), under IOM’s regional programme for Corporate Responsibility in Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking (CREST) and regional Poverty Reduction through Safe Migration, Skills Development and Enhanced Job Placement (PROMISE) project supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Laudes Foundation.

Many Lao workers choose to migrate internally from rural provinces to Vientiane, or internationally to Thailand or other destinations in search or better job opportunities. IOM’s research shows that migrants do not always seek information about their destination and may not have a plan for their journey, fully understand their contract, benefits, or rights. With limited exposure to official information, migrants tend not to register their residency, face challenges in accessing public services, finding a job and accommodation.

This year’s event aims to promote migrant workers’ rights and provide knowledge on safe and regular migration, among workers, employers, and government authorities. IOM and MoLSW have now developed key information which help both employers and employees, international and internal migrants to improve knowledge on safe migration, ethical recruitment, and decent work. Through consultations with employers and workers, identify labour rights issues faced by internal and international migrant workers. All of which contribute to designing future interventions to address challenges faced by migrant workers with close collaboration with the private sector.

Delegates from IOM, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the MoLSW, together with representatives from recruitment agents, visited Labour Units around Vientiane Capital, including Hoya Lao Co. Ltd in the Saysettha Special Economic Zone (SEZ), Lao Quality Sole Co. Ltd, Trio Co. Ltd and Trimax Co. Ltd to meet with workers and management and raise their awareness on safe migration and ethical recruitment.

Mdm. Baykham Khattiya, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, and Zena Van Bemmel Faulkner, Programme Officer at IOM observed the working conditions at the factories to identify ways to better protect migrant workers and optimize the benefits of labour migration. “One of the main objectives of our visit today is to encourage labour units to register with the National Social Security Fund for the benefit of the workforce. Observing the actual working environment of the workers will help us develop the law and regulation that corresponds with the actual situation.” Mdm. Baykham added.

Following the completion of the Labour Day event, IOM will conduct a follow-up employer survey under PROMISE to enhance recognition of the difficulties faced and needs of employers during COVID-19. The findings will inform potential action plan to implement the suggestions and solutions, contributing to strengthening the protection of women and men internal and international migrant workers to ensure a safer and more successful migration and employment experience.

Under its CREST programme, IOM aims to uphold human rights and labour rights of migrant workers in business operations and supply chains. CREST works towards the protection of migrant workers, including better access to ethical recruitment channels, eradication of fees charged to migrants, transparent employment terms and conditions, and effective remedy.

Language English Posted: Friday, April 23, 2021 - 13:32Image: Region-Country: Lao People’s Democratic RepublicDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM and the MOLSW handing over information materials on ethical recruitment, decent work, and safe migration to a garment factory in Vientiane Capital as part of the International Labour Day 2021 event. Photo: IOM Lao PDR/2021

Garment and manufacturing industry in Vientiane Capital is one of the major employers for internal migrants from other provinces. Photo: IOM Lao PDR/2021

Minister Mdm. Baykham Khattiya asked a woman worker about her work in the factory. Photo: IOM Lao PDR/2021

Press Release Type: Localtags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration Management
Categories: PBN

Emergency Funding Released as Nearly 4,000 More People Flee Cabo Delgado

Fri, 04/23/2021 - 06:51

Pemba – Nearly 4,000 people have fled in Palma in northern Mozambique in the past week, pushing the total number of displaced to almost 25,000 according to data collected by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which this week contributed USD 1.2 million to the response.  

“Hundreds of people with urgent humanitarian needs are arriving daily by foot, bus and boat due to the instability in Palma,” IOM Mozambique Chief of Mission Laura Tomm-Bonde said.  

“We continue to deliver life-saving assistance but need further support to help foster durable solutions for thousands of internally displaced families so they can begin building a new future for themselves and their families.”  

IOM's humanitarian operations in northern Mozambique are funded by donor agencies, with the support of a USD 1.2 million contribution from IOM’s Migration Emergency Funding Mechanism. The Organization’s Director of Operations and Emergencies will arrive in Mozambique tomorrow to further assess the situation and to reaffirm IOM's commitment to support people in need in this region. 

More than half of the displaced are in the districts of Mueda (6,970) and Nangade (6,733) on the northern border with Tanzania. Others have moved farther south in Cabo Delgado province; 5,000 people have arrived in Pemba City, and a further 3,795 to Montepuez district.   

Malitate Ali, a mother of six including a newborn, found shelter with a relative in Pemba and is receiving psychosocial support from IOM.  

“In Palma, armed groups came, they burnt stores, houses and beheaded people,” she said.  “Some of my family members were taken and injured. I need food and clothing for my children, especially my baby. If peace returns to Palma, then I shall return.”   

IOM continues to provide psychosocial and protection assistance to hundreds of displaced people from Palma, including psychosocial first aid, group counselling, and individual assistance. 

The Organization is shipping non-food items (NFIs) to replenish the pipeline and to scale-up the response, including across hard-to-reach areas.  In the past week shelter and NFIs were provided to nearly 2,000 displaced families in Mueda and Montepuez districts, including tarpaulins, blankets, clothing, buckets, jerry cans and other essential items. 

IOM has provided direct assistance to more than 40,000 people affected by insecurity in Cabo Delgado since the beginning of the year. Daily Displacement Tracking Matrix´s updates are available here

IOM is appealing for USD 58 million through its 2021 Crisis Response Plan, which includes almost USD 22 million to respond to critical humanitarian needs in Northern Mozambique under the Humanitarian Response Plan. 

For additional information, please contact Paul Dillon at IOM Geneva, Tel: +41 79 636 9874, Email:  or Angela Wells, Tel: +41 79 403 5365, Email:; or Manuel Mabuiangue, Tel:  +258 847345420, Email:  Language English Posted: Friday, April 23, 2021 - 11:28Image: Region-Country: MozambiqueDefault: Multimedia: 

Displaced people safely access services and receive lifesaving aid in Ngalane Center, Metuge District. Photo: IOM

Malitate Ali, a mother of six including a newborn, found shelter with a relative in Pemba and is receiving psychosocial support from IOM. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: DTMEmergency Relief and ProtectionInternal DisplacementInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration ManagementReducing Global Inequalities
Categories: PBN

Afghanistan assumes Chairmanship of the Colombo Process

Tue, 04/20/2021 - 11:38

Geneva – The Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), António Vitorino, today congratulated Nepal on its successful leadership of the Colombo Process over the last two years and committed continued IOM support as Afghanistan takes over as Chair. 

DG Vitorino made the remarks at the virtual Chairmanship handover ceremony during which Nepal was commended for its achievements, notably the work of the five Colombo Process Thematic Areas Working Groups towards greater understanding of labour migration governance across and beyond the region, and the contribution of the Colombo Process Member States to the Global Compact for the Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).  

Afghanistan succeeds Nepal as Chair of the Colombo Process for a period of two years. At the virtual handover ceremony, the Governments of Nepal and Afghanistan were represented by the Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security of Nepal, Mr Gaurishankar Chaudhari, and the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of Afghanistan, Mr Bashir Ahmad Tahyanj, respectively.  

The Colombo Process – also known as the Regional Consultative Process on the Management of Overseas Employment and Contractual Labour for Countries of Origin in Asia – was established in 2003. It brings together 12 South and Southeast Asian labour-sending countries in a member state-driven, non-binding regional consultative process on migration to facilitate dialogue and cooperation on issues of common interest and concerns relating to labour mobility. 

Nepal assumed the Colombo Process Chair in 2017 under the theme: “Safe, regular and managed migration: a win-win for all”. Minister Gaurishankar Chaudhari of Nepal stressed how, through their collective efforts, the Colombo Process had made significant contributions to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), which reflected the shared objectives of the Colombo Process itself. As the Chair, Nepal had promoted the Colombo Process position and ensured its high visibility also in the preparatory processes leading up to the GCM.  

As the Chair for the next two years, Afghanistan will pursue an ambitious program of priorities to guide its mandate and advance its achievements. Mr Bashir Ahmad Tahyanj, Afghanistan’s Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, extended his gratitude to Nepal and stressed that it is a great honor for Afghanistan to continue Nepal’s legacy.  

The Afghan Chairmanship will focus on how to ensure that labour mobility governance responds to the socioeconomic recovery from COVID-19, protecting workers throughout the labour migration process and ensuring safe and regular pathways for migration. 

For further information, please contact the International Partnerships Division, IOM HQ, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 09:23Image: Region-Country: GlobalDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionGlobal Compact on MigrationInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration Management
Categories: PBN

More than 200,000 People Return to Zimbabwe as COVID-19 Impacts Regional Economies

Tue, 04/20/2021 - 11:28

Harare – More than 200,000 Zimbabweans have returned home over the past year due to the economic fallout from COVID-19 in countries where they had been working. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is providing nurses to help Zimbabwean officials conduct COVID-19 tests. Other services include critical risk communications and disease surveillance activities, infection prevention and control, protection, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Reintegration Assistance. 

IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission Mario Lito Malanca noted the number of returns exceeded expectations, highlighting the massive socio-economic impact the virus has had across the regions requiring a refocus on long-term solutions. 

“Without these measures, we will see many returnees falling deeper into crisis, resorting to negative coping mechanisms, and possibly being forced to migrate once again through irregular means,” he said. 

More than 1.9 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Southern Africa since March 2020, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and over 60,000 lives were lost. Worst hit were the three main destination countries for Zimbabwean migrant workers: South Africa, Malawi and Botswana. 

An IOM survey of the returnees found that, in most cases, the decision to return was linked to the impacts of the pandemic, including financial challenges, hunger and loss of accommodation, lack of access to medical assistance, mental health support, identity document issues and the risk of assault in the country where they were working.   

The survey also found that the returnees have professional skills ranging from construction to trading, agriculture, catering, painting, and domestic work.   

The Zimbabwean Government’s guidelines require returnees to have valid COVID-19 certificates prior to entering the country. Without a valid test certificate, they are sent to provincial quarantine centres in Beitbridge, Plumtree and Chirundu to await testing. 

With support from IOM and its Development Fund (IDF), the Government of Zimbabwe is engaging with its neighbours toward bilateral agreements to tackle the push factors of the returns, while setting up internal mechanisms of socio-economic reintegration through employment assistance projects. 

On Thursday 22 April, IOM and the Zimbabwean Embassy in South Africa are organising a virtual webinar on Zimbabwe Diaspora engagement for development. The objective is to initiate a sustained dialogue between the Government of Zimbabwe and its Diaspora on development-related issues. Registration can be completed here

IOM Zimbabwe’s recently launched USD 38.9 million Crisis Response Plan 2021 aims to strengthen COVID-19 preparedness and response capacities well into 2021 and to promote socio-economic reintegration through self-employment, community income projects and livelihood activities targeting 1.7 million people. 

For more information, please contact Fadzai Nyamande-Pangeti, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 14:23Image: Region-Country: ZimbabweDefault: Multimedia: 

Some of the more than 200,000 Zimbabwean returnees over the past year receive post-arrival assistance while awaiting transportation to different parts of the country. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: COVID-19Emergency Relief and ProtectionInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration ManagementReducing Global Inequalities
Categories: PBN

IOM/UNHCR: Relocations in Brazil Offer Dignity and Hope to Thousands of Venezuelans

Tue, 04/20/2021 - 05:28

Joint press release IOM/UNHCR

Geneva – More than 50,000 Venezuelans have been relocated from Brazil’s isolated northern state of Roraima to 675 Brazilian cities, thanks to a model national initiative. 

Since the relocation strategy was launched three years ago, it has helped nearly one in five Venezuelans in the country to significantly improve their quality of life.  

survey carried out by UNHCR with 360 relocated Venezuelan families showed that over 77 per cent had found employment within weeks of their arrival to their destination, compared to only 7 per cent being employed in Roraima. As a result, the families reported that, within six to eight weeks of settling in a new city, their incomes had increased.  

Prior to the relocation, six out of ten of those interviewed lived in temporary shelters and 3 per cent were homeless. Four months after being relocated, none were sleeping rough. The majority were renting homes, and only 5 per cent were living in temporary accommodation. Moreover, after being relocated, all the families had at least one child in school, compared to 65 per cent before they moved.  

The relocation strategy is part of Operation Welcome (Operação Acolhida), the federal government’s response to the influx of Venezuelan refugees and migrants to Brazil. It aims to reduce the pressure on vulnerable border communities where Venezuelans arrive, and foster integration by helping refugees and migrants find new job opportunities in other cities.  

“The response implemented by the Brazilian government has successfully helped tens of thousands of Venezuelans to rebuild their lives in the country with dignity,” said the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Chief of Mission in Brazil, Stéphane Rostiaux. “We have reached an important milestone amid a pandemic which has unexpectedly disrupted the lives of many. We must continue to work together to support the most vulnerable.” 

Despite COVID-19, relocations have not stopped over the last year. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 1,000 Venezuelans have been safely relocated each month.  

“Brazil has been steadfast in its resolve to find long-term solutions to the plight of Venezuelan refugees and migrants, despite the added challenge posed by COVID-19,” said Jose Egas, the Representative in Brazil of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. “The internal relocation strategy has proven effective in giving displaced Venezuelans the chance for a new beginning. It constitutes a model practice, both for the region and the world.”  

All those who embarked on relocation flights were screened for COVID-19, while other measures were taken to prevent the spread of the disease.  

Among those who have been relocated, 47 per cent are women and girls and 37 per cent are minors. The vast majority, 88 per cent, travelled as a family unit. Approximately 260,000 Venezuelans refugees and migrants are currently living in Brazil, according to government statistics

Voluntary relocation efforts through Operation Welcome are supported by the Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform (R4V), composed of 48 organizations from civil society and the United Nations, under the leadership of IOM and UNHCR. 

Since 2018, IOM and UNHCR have assisted with the verification of documentation, conducting pre-departure medical consultations, funding travel costs, finding adequate reception facilities for people with specific needs and funding infrastructure improvements and other programme expenses.  

The agencies also help refugees and migrants secure job opportunities and onward travel, when necessary.  

The R4V platform’s Refugee and Migrant Response Plan for Brazil requires USD 98 million to assist Venezuelans in the country, including activities related to the relocation strategy.  

For more information, please contact: 

In Brazil: 

Juliana Hack, IOM (, +55 61 3771 3772 
Luiz Fernando Godinho Santos, UNHCR (, +55 61 9 8187 0978 

In Panama: 

Daniela Rovina, IOM (, +507 6312-8294 
Bryan Brennan, IOM (, +507 6379-9450 
William Spindler, UNHCR (, +507 6382 7815 
Olga Sarrado, UNHCR (, +507 6640 0185 

In Geneva: 

Angela Wells, IOM ( +41 79 403 5365 
Aikaterini Kitidi, UNHCR (, +41 79 580 8334 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 14:00Image: Region-Country: BrazilVenezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)GlobalDefault: Multimedia: 

All beneficiaries receive the vaccines foreseen in the national immunization calendar before traveling. Photo: Operation Welcome 

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration ManagementReturn and Reintegration
Categories: PBN

UNHCR, IOM: At least 40 People Drown in Shipwreck off Tunisia

Fri, 04/16/2021 - 18:08

Joint Press release IOM, UNHCR

Geneva/Tunisia – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are deeply saddened by reports of a shipwreck off the coast of Sidi Mansour, in southeast Tunisia, yesterday evening. The bodies of 41 people, including at least one child, have so far been retrieved.

According to reports from local UNHCR and IOM teams, three survivors were rescued by the Tunisian National Coast Guard. The search effort was still underway on Friday. Based on initial information, all those who perished were from Sub-Saharan Africa.

This tragic loss of life underscores once again the need to enhance and expand State-led search and rescue operations across the Central Mediterranean, where some 290 people have lost their lives so far this year. Solidarity across the region and support to national authorities in their efforts to prevent loss of life and prosecute smugglers and traffickers should be a priority.

Prior to yesterday’s incident, 39 refugees and migrants had perished off the coast near the Tunisian city of Sfax in early March. So far this year, sea departures from Tunisia to Europe have more than tripled compared to the same period in 2020.

UNHCR and IOM continue to monitor developments closely. They continue to stand ready to work with the national authorities to assist and support the survivors, and the family members of those lost.


For more information, please contacts:


In Geneva: Safa Msehli, +41794035526

In Tunis: Riadh Kadhi, +216 28 787 805


In Tunis, Ikram Houimli,, +216 58941076

In Geneva, Aikaterini Kitidi,, +41 79 580 8334

Language English Posted: Friday, April 16, 2021 - 23:59Image: Region-Country: TunisiaDefault: Multimedia: 

The tragic loss of life underscores once again the need to enhance and expand State-led search and rescue operations across the Central Mediterranean. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionMigration ManagementMissing Migrants
Categories: PBN

Netherlands and IOM Launch Global Migration Initiative to Protect People on the Move

Fri, 04/16/2021 - 12:27

The Hague – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands launched the Cooperation on Migration and Partnerships for Sustainable Solutions initiative (COMPASS) at the beginning of 2021. COMPASS is a global initiative, in partnership with 12 countries, designed to protect people on the move, combat human trafficking and smuggling, and support dignified return while promoting sustainable reintegration.

The initiative is centred on a whole-of-society approach which, in addition to assisting individuals, will work across all levels – households, communities, and the wider communities – and encompasses the following partner countries: Afghanistan, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, and Tunisia.

“We want to mobilize families, peers and communities to encourage informed and safe migration decisions, protect migrants, and help those returning home reintegrate successfully,” said Monica Goracci, Director of the Department of Migration Management at IOM.  

“One key component is also undermining the trafficking and smuggling business models through the promotion of safe alternatives and information sharing to reduce the risks of exploitation and abuse by these criminal networks.” Vulnerable migrants, including victims of trafficking and unaccompanied or separated children, will have access to a broad range of protection and assistance services such as mental health and psychosocial support, while migrants in transit who wish to return home will be supported with dignified return and reintegration.

Community level interventions will focus on improving community-led efforts to address trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, and support sustainable reintegration of returning migrants. COMPASS will work with national and local governments to enable a conducive environment for migrant protection, migration management and international cooperation on these issues.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pleased to launch the COMPASS programme in cooperation with IOM, an important and longstanding partner on migration cooperation,” said Marriët Schuurman, Director for Stability and Humanitarian Aid of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

“The programme is a part of the Dutch comprehensive approach to migration with activities that contribute to protection and decreasing irregular migration. Research and data gathering are also important components, and we hope that the insights that will be gained under COMPASS will contribute to broader knowledge sharing on migration and better-informed migration policies.”, added Schuurman. The initiative has a strong learning component, designed to increase knowledge and the uptake of lessons learned, both within the programme and beyond its parameters. COMPASS will actively contribute to global knowledge that supports countries in managing migration flows and protecting vulnerable migrants such as victims of trafficking. The implementation of COMPASS is set to start soon.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, as the donor to the COMPASS initiative, pledges its active support to partner countries to improve migration cooperation mechanisms within its long-term vision. 

IOM, the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration, contributes its expertise as the technical implementation partner to the initiative. IOM works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners in its dedication to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. 

For more information, please contact: 

Barbara Salewski-Ratering, Communications Focal Point at IOM Netherlands, Email:, or direct general enquires to or

Language English Posted: Friday, April 16, 2021 - 17:53Image: Region-Country: NetherlandsGlobalDefault: Multimedia: 

COMPASS will provide vulnerable migrants including victims of trafficking and unaccompanied or separated children access to a broad range of protection and assistance services. 

COMPASS will provide vulnerable migrants including victims of trafficking and unaccompanied or separated children access to a broad range of protection and assistance services. 

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigrants in Vulnerable Situations/Migrants RightsMigration Management
Categories: PBN

Promoting Migrant-Inclusive Data to Help Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

Fri, 04/16/2021 - 10:23

Berlin – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is launching a new guide to help practitioners disaggregate data related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by migratory status, to address the needs of migrants and highlight their contributions to sustainable development. 

To date, disaggregation of global development data by migratory status remains low. Migrants are largely invisible in official SDG data. As the global community approaches 2030, very little is known about the impact of the 2030 Agenda on migrants. Despite a growing focus worldwide on data disaggregation, namely the breaking down of data into smaller sub-categories, there is a lack of practical guidance on the topic that can be tailored to address individual needs and capacities of countries.  

Developed by IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), the guide titled ‘Leave No Migrant Behind: The 2030 Agenda and Data Disaggregation’ centres on nine SDGs focusing on hunger, education, and gender equality among others. The document is the first of its kind, in that it seeks to address a range of different categorization interests and needs related to international migrants and suggests practical steps that practitioners can tailor to best fit their context. 

“Thanks to the support from Statistics Sweden, GMDAC launched on 14 April a new guide on how to disaggregate SDG indicators across topics such as poverty and health by migratory status,” said Frank Laczko, IOM GMDAC Director. 

“Inclusive data is critical to ensure migrants are not left behind in achieving the SDGs.”  

The guide also highlights the key role disaggregation plays in understanding the many positive links between migration and the SDGs, highlighting migrants’ contributions to the 2030 Agenda. 

The guide outlines key steps for actors to plan and implement initiatives by looking at sex, gender, age and disability, in addition to migratory status. These steps include undertaking awareness raising, identifying priority indicators, conducting data mapping, and more.  

“We believe that being able to shed light on the situation of vulnerable groups, such as migrants, in the 2030 Agenda is essential to ensure inclusive development,” said Cathy Krüger, project manager at Statistics Sweden. “We were very happy to support IOM in this work because of their broad and on-the-ground experience in the field. We hope the guide will help countries make progress in following migrants in the Agenda, and also act as a good example for other vulnerable groups.” 

COVID-19 has laid bare deepening inequalities around the world, reminding us how important it is for policy to be inclusive for all populations and communities, including many migrants who, in many settings, have faced heightened risks and negative impacts related to the pandemic. To leave no one behind, migrants must be considered across efforts to achieve the SDGs, and this begins with disaggregated data. 

Read more about the importance of data disaggregation for SDG indicators here.  

For more information, please contact Elisa Mosler Vidal at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +44 777 05 343 63, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, April 16, 2021 - 15:49Image: Region-Country: GlobalDefault: Multimedia: 

GMDAC - The new guide centres on nine SDGs focusing, among others, on hunger, poverty, education, and gender equality. Photo: Julie Batula/IOM

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: International Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration ManagementMigration and the 2030 Agenda
Categories: PBN

U.S. and IOM Deliver Emergency Shelter for Ethiopians Displaced by Tigray Conflict

Thu, 04/15/2021 - 18:43

Addis Ababa – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) today received over 1,500 rolls of heavy-duty plastic sheeting from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) that will be used to provide temporary shelter relief to more than 80,000 people displaced by conflict in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.

IOM will immediately transport and distribute the supplies to people in need across Tigray, where conflict has forced an estimated 1 million people to flee their homes. Many are now sleeping outside or in crowded shelters. The donated shelter supplies include sleeping mats, blankets, and basic household items including kitchen sets with pots, pans, and cooking utensils.

“Over the past five months, the United States has been working tirelessly with our Ethiopian and international partners to provide emergency assistance to the 4.5 million Ethiopians affected by the crisis in Tigray,” US Ambassador to Ethiopia Geeta Pasi told IOM Chief of Mission Maureen Achieng and Commissioner Mitiku from Ethiopia’s National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) at a warehouse in Addis Ababa.

“USAID’s airlift of durable plastic sheeting is on top of the already USD 305 million of humanitarian aid.”

IOM’s Achieng applauded the contribution.

“The generosity of the United States as demonstrated through the emergency shelter materials for the displaced men, women and children of Tigray comes at a moment of dire need,” she said. “It will ensure that even as we work on lasting solutions to the displacement, the affected IDPs can still live lives of safety and dignity.”

The latest relief supplies are part of the United States, IOM, United Nations, and international humanitarian organizations’ broader contribution to help people in Tigray. More than 60 per cent of the USD 500 million in international humanitarian assistance to Tigray has come from the US.


For more information, please contact:

Kaye Viray at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251993531220, Email:

William Herkewitz at USAID Ethiopia, Tel: +251911509472, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, April 16, 2021 - 00:38Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaDefault: Multimedia: 

A truck loaded with heavy-duty plastic sheeting is prepared to make the trip to Tigray, Ethiopia, where an estimated 1 million people are displaced by conflict. Photo: OIM 2021

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionInternal Displacement
Categories: PBN

Ethiopian Migrants Returning Home from Yemen with IOM Support in Wake of Tragic Boat Sinking

Tue, 04/13/2021 - 05:13

Aden/Addis Ababa – One hundred and sixty Ethiopian migrants have returned home safely from Yemen today with the assistance of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), just one day after a perilous journey across the Gulf of Aden claimed the lives of dozens of people, including at least 16 children.

More than 32,000 migrants, predominantly from Ethiopia, remain stranded across Yemen in dire, often deadly, circumstances.

“The conditions of migrants stranded in Yemen has become so tragic that many feel they have no option but to rely on smugglers to return home,” said Jeffrey Labovitz, IOM’s Director for Operations and Emergencies.

At least 42 people returning from Yemen are believed to have died on Monday when their vessel sank off the coast of Djibouti. Last month, at least 20 people had also drowned on the same route according to survivors. IOM believes that, since May 2020, over 11,000 migrants have returned to the Horn of Africa on dangerous boat journeys, aided by unscrupulous smugglers.

“Our Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) programme provides a lifeline for those stranded in a country now experiencing its seventh year of conflict and crisis. We call on all governments along the route to come together and support our efforts to allow migrants safe and dignified opportunities to travel home,” added Labovitz.

COVID-19 has had a major impact on global migration. The route from the Horn of Africa to Gulf countries has been particularly affected. Tens of thousands of migrants, hoping to work in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), now find themselves unable to complete their journeys, stranded across Djibouti, Somalia and Yemen.

While the pandemic has also caused the number of migrants arriving to Yemen to decrease from 138,000 in 2019 to just over 37,500 in 2020, the risks they face continue to rise. Many of these migrants are stranded in precarious situations, sleeping rough without shelter or access to services. Many others are in detention or being held by smugglers.

“We cannot find jobs or food here; Yemen is a problem for us,” said Gamal, a 22-year-old migrant returning on the VHR flight. “I used to sleep in the street on cardboard. I could only eat because of the charity people would give me and sometimes we were given leftovers from restaurants. I never had much to eat.” 

Since October 2020, in Aden alone, IOM has registered over 6,000 migrants who need support to safely return home. Today’s flight to Addis Ababa was the second transporting an initial group of 1,100 Ethiopians who have been approved for VHR to Ethiopia. Thousands of other undocumented migrants are waiting for their nationality to be verified and travel documents to be provided.

Prior to departure on the VHR flight, IOM carried out medical and protection screenings to ensure that returnees are fit to travel and are voluntarily consenting to return. Those with special needs are identified and receive specialized counselling and support.

In Ethiopia, IOM supports government-run COVID-19 quarantine facilities to accommodate the returnees on arrival and provides cash assistance, essential items and onward transportation to their homes. The Organization also supports family tracing for unaccompanied migrant children.

Across the Horn of Africa and Yemen, IOM provides life-saving support to migrants through health care, food, water and other vital assistance. 

Today’s flight was funded by the US State Department's Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM). Post-arrival assistance in Addis Ababa is supported by EU Humanitarian Aid and PRM. 


For more information, please contact:

Olivia Headon at IOM Yemen, Tel: +967730552233, Email: 
Kaye Viray at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251993531220, Email: 

Angela Wells at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 403 5365; Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 13, 2021 - 00:00Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaYemenDefault: Multimedia: 

Yemen: Stranded Ethiopian migrants prepare to board an IOM-facilitated flight from Aden, Yemen, to fly home to Addis Ababa 

Credit: Majed Mohammed 2021 

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigrants in Vulnerable Situations/Migrants RightsMigration ManagementReturn and Reintegration
Categories: PBN

34 Dead after Smuggler's Boat Capsizes off the Coast of Djibouti

Mon, 04/12/2021 - 20:36

Obock, Djibouti – At least 34 people have died after a boat operated by people smugglers, transporting approximately 60 migrants escaping conflict in Yemen, capsized on its way to Djibouti in the early hours of Monday morning.

Every year, tens of thousands of young African migrants from the region make the dangerous journey from countries like Somalia and Ethiopia through Djibouti and Yemen in search for work in the Gulf.

COVID-19 is forcing many to turn back due to widespread border closures that have reduced access to Gulf states. It is unknown what caused the vessel to capsize.  

Similar journeys between Yemen and Djibouti are being undertaken aboard unseaworthy vessels by migrants desperate to return home on a near daily basis.

Despite the dangers, the number of migrants arriving in Djibouti continues to increase. In March, over 2,343 migrants arrived from Yemen, compared to 1,900 in February. Most were trying to head home to Ethiopia and Somalia. Last month, in a similar incident this time en route to Yemen, smugglers threw 80 people overboard after complaining the boat was overcrowded and sinking. At least 20 drowned.

“IOM is working with the Djiboutian authorities, the humanitarian community, and donors to end this suffering and save lives,” said IOM Djibouti Chief of Mission Stephanie Daviot.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of migrants from the Horn of Africa are trapped in Yemen. Many are living in dangerous conditions, usually without access to food, shelter, medical care and security. Migrants are forced to pay smugglers large sums of money to facilitate their journeys home. IOM in Djibouti and Yemen is providing food, water, medical care and counselling for survivors of such tragedies and other migrants.

In Yemen, over 6,000 migrants have been identified and registered for Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR), assistance to get home. IOM is calling on governments in the region to increase VHR for stranded migrants.

In March, IOM launched a USD98 million appeal – Regional Migrant Response Plan for the Horn of Africa and Yemen (RMRP) – to respond to the needs of migrants in the Horn of Africa and Yemen, including Djibouti.

For further information, please contact Yvonne Ndege at IOM Regional Office, Nairobi, Email:, Tel: +254797735977 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 13, 2021 - 02:32Image: Region-Country: DjiboutiDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionMigrants in Vulnerable Situations/Migrants RightsMissing Migrants
Categories: PBN

IOM, Harvard Launch Research on Migration Flows in West and Central Africa

Mon, 04/12/2021 - 10:54

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), together with the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, are launching a joint research “SEE MIGRATION LIKE WATER: An Analysis of IOM Flow Monitoring Survey Data on Migration Flows in West and Central Africa”. The report analyzes migration flows and migrants’ vulnerabilities on their journeys within and from West and Central Africa.  

The West and Central Africa region provides rich evidence of dynamic migratory patterns, including long histories of diverse intraregional and interregional migration flows. The complexity and rapidly evolving characteristics of mobility in the region, combined with the emergence of new challenges and risks, such as COVID-19, aggravate risks along migration journeys and leave many migrants unprotected.  

The report calls for a comprehensive and contextualized understanding of migrants’ vulnerabilities across the most popular West and Central African migration routes – examining risk and protective factors at the individual, household, community, and structural level. 

The study is based on IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) flow monitoring survey data gathered from over 110,000 migrants, across 38 transit points in 7 countries in West and Central Africa. In addition, qualitative data from expert interviews conducted in 2020 shed light on the impact of COVID-19 on migrants’ journeys and their well-being.  

This joint research is part of the wider effort of IOM to collect and disseminate sound empirical data on migration dynamics and vulnerabilities in order to support progress towards enhancement of safe migration, including to support the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and realize the migration-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets.  

The report is currently available in English, while the French version will be available in May 2021.  


For more information, please contact:  


Safa Msehli; Email:  

Kennedy Omondi; Email: 



Veronica Lewin; Email:  

Language English Posted: Monday, April 12, 2021 - 16:47Image: Region-Country: GlobalDefault: Multimedia: 

Chadian military convoy arriving in Doyaba Transit Centre, Sarh with 2,000 returnees. Photo: IOM/Craig Murphy 

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: DTMData and Research
Categories: PBN

Communities Displaced by Recent Violence in Mozambique Offered Respite, Assistance at New Transit Centre

Fri, 04/09/2021 - 11:19

Pemba – Hundreds of people displaced by recent attacks in Palma, northern Mozambique, have found temporary shelter this week in a transit centre established in Pemba City by the Government of Mozambique with support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and partners.

As of yesterday (08/04), IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) has recorded nearly 14,000 people displaced to Nangade, Mueda, Montepuez and Pemba by the latest surge in violence. This number is growing by the day.

“What I saw cannot be unseen,” said Flavia Hilário, a survivor of the attack in Palma. “I never thought death could be like that. I managed to flee Palma with my two young sons.” “We went to Mwizi neighborhood, where we stayed for three days without food, then to Macanja for five days under the same conditions. Once in Afungi, we were airlifted to Pemba, where we have received assistance at the transit site."

Survivors of the attack in Palma have dispersed throughout northern Mozambique in search of safety, travelling by bus, plane and boat. Thousands are believed to be traversing through dense forests, making their way south on foot.

Children represent more than 40 per cent of the people the DTM has recorded as displaced; at least 170 are unaccompanied and have been separated from their caregivers.

Since the attacks, IOM has scaled up humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Cabo Delgado, in cooperation with humanitarian and government partners.

The Organization has provided mental health and psychosocial support and protection assistance to more than 1,000 newly displaced persons; facilitated referrals to health and social services; and distributed wheelchairs, crutches and other in-kind assistance.  IOM and Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) partners are also supporting the reception and accommodation of people arriving to temporary or relocation sites.

The IOM-supported transit centre in Pemba provides survivors with a place to stay overnight and to receive assistance. The Organization also installed lighting and other upgrades to the facility to ensure the space is safe and accessible to people with special needs.

“IOM teams are assisting survivors who continue to arrive to safer areas of Cabo Delgado following their distressing experience fleeing these attacks,” said IOM Mozambique Chief of Mission, Laura Tomm-Bonde.

Close to 700,000 people have been internally displaced in northern Mozambique since the onset of violence in October 2017. Pemba City and other places hosting a high number of IDPs are stretched beyond their capacity to provide basic services to displaced persons and host communities.

IOM has provided lifesaving assistance to more than 900,000 people affected by disasters and conflict in Mozambique since 2019. Humanitarian operations required by IOM and partners to respond to increasing needs remain significantly underfunded.

“We are grateful for the additional support from donors for humanitarian operations and urge the donor community to continue these efforts so that thousands more families displaced by violence in Cabo Delgado in recent years can receive relief and begin to recover,” added Tomm-Bonde.

Daily DTM updates are available here.


For additional information, please contact Paul Dillon at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 636 9874, Email  or Angela Wells, Tel: +41 79 403 5365, Email:; or Sascha Nlabu at IOM Mozambique, Phone: +258 86 801 2222, Email

Language English Posted: Friday, April 9, 2021 - 16:02Image: Region-Country: MozambiqueDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM continues to provide mental health and psychosocial support and distribute wheelchairs and crutches to Mozambicans displaced by the recent attacks in Palma. Photo: Manuel Mabuiangue / IOM 2021

Flavia Hilário fled the attacks in Palma in late March with her two sons and is now seeking refuge at an IOM-supported transit centre in Pemba City. Photo: Manuel Mabuiangue / IOM 2021

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: DTMEmergency Relief and ProtectionInternal DisplacementInternational Cooperation and Partnerships
Categories: PBN

IOM Calls for Action to Support Families of Missing Migrants

Fri, 04/09/2021 - 06:25

Berlin – Tens of thousands of people live with the pain and uncertainty of not knowing the fate of their relatives and loved ones who went missing or died during migration journeys around the world. Besides the emotional toll, their lives may be forever marked by the many psychosocial, legal and financial impacts related to the disappearance of their relatives. 

“Families of missing migrants have little visibility, and their needs are barely addressed,” said Frank Laczko, Director of IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) in Berlin. 

“Besides the moral imperative, Objective 8 of the Global Compact on Migration specifically calls on states to identify those who have died or gone missing, and to facilitate communication with affected families. This is applicable regardless of migration status of the missing person or the situation of their families.” 

With the aim of giving a voice to these families, IOM GMDAC has carried out qualitative research with families searching for missing migrants in several countries, to better understand the challenges they face during their search and how they can be better supported.  

The findings from this research in Ethiopia are highlighted in a report published today: Families of missing migrants: Their search for answers, the impacts of loss and recommendations for improved support in Ethiopia. The results of the research with families of missing migrants in the United Kingdom, Spain and Zimbabwe will be published throughout the next few months.  

According to IOM’s Missing Migrants Project and Ethiopia’s Bureau of Labour and Social Affairs, between 2012 and 2020, at least 7,000 Ethiopians died or went missing on migration routes to South Africa, North Africa, Europe and the Gulf States. There are also situations of migrants going missing in transit or in places of destination that are not included in this list. It is likely that most of their families, whether in Ethiopia or elsewhere, do not have certainty about what happened to them.  

In Ethiopia, as in the other countries of research, there are no clear, centralized or official mechanisms to report missing migrants, which forces people who fear that something has happened to their relatives during their migration journeys to seek information informally, through other migrants, smuggling facilitators and social media.  

The gaps in information and the lack of effective search mechanisms allows for the prevalence of scams, fraud and extortion targeting families searching for their relatives. In some cases, Ethiopians told of their relatives who took the same migration route as their missing loved ones to try to find out what happened to them, and in doing so, faced similar dangers on the way. 

As a result of their loved one’s disappearance, families interviewed in Ethiopia described experiencing a vast range of physical, psychological and behavioural issues, ranging from anxiety, depression, hopelessness, stress, sadness and loneliness to sleep disturbance, inability to focus, loss of appetite and paralysis. Unable to obtain confirmation of the fate and whereabouts of their relatives, families cannot apply for support from community-based insurance systems, and the increased financial burden disproportionally affects women and older relatives. A father of two missing sons lamented: 

“My sons were my hope. One died during an earlier migration [journey]. The second went to search for him and also to try his luck and reach South Africa. He went missing as well. It was last year when he called after arriving in Malawi. He never called again. I am dying twice: [because] I lost them and [because] I lost hope. They used to help me till and farm the land. They were my pride. They were my hope. I am getting older and weaker. I can’t work. I rely on my relatives for agricultural labour, but they can only help me after finishing with their own farming.” 

“People who are missing their children, spouses and other relatives are not passive victims. Families in Ethiopia have developed their own community support structures to search for answers,” said Kate Dearden, one of the IOM coordinators of this project.  

“However, state-funded tools and services are urgently needed to report and resolve cases of migrants who have gone missing in other countries, as well as to help families with the impacts of this situation. This requires a humanitarian approach to this issue and sustained cooperation between countries.” 


Find the new report “Families of missing migrants: Their search for answers, the impacts of loss and recommendations for improved support - Ethiopia” here

Click here to read some of the testimonies of families of missing migrants in Ethiopia. 

“Living without them – Stories of families left behind” is a 4-part podcast series produced by IOM about the research project with families of missing migrants. Listen to the first episode here.  

For more information, please contact:  

Krizia Kaye Viray at IOM Ethiopia, Email: , Tel: +251  11 1301243, M. +251 353 1220 or 
Kate Dearden at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (Berlin), Email: , Tel: +49 3027 877832

Language English Posted: Friday, April 9, 2021 - 10:01Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaGlobalDefault: Multimedia: 

The absence and unexplained fate of a loved one has multidimensional effects in the lives of the people they leave behind.  Illustration: Salam Shokor / IOM 2021 

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionGMDACInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration ManagementMissing Migrants
Categories: PBN

IOM Chief of Mission Met with Newly-Appointed Lao Minister of Labour and Social Welfare

Thu, 04/08/2021 - 11:44

Vientiane – Ms. Shareen Tuladhar, the Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Lao People’s Democratic Republic paid a courtesy to H.E. Mdm. Baykham Khattiya, the newly appointed Minister of Labour and Social Welfare on 7 April.

On behalf of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MoLSW), the Minister thanked IOM for the continuous support in managing effective labour migration, strengthening migrant protection, and promoting safe labour migration. H.E. Mdm Baykham also expressed appreciation for IOM’s commitment in supporting Lao People’s Democratic Republic to facilitate safe and orderly migration.

Ms. Tuladhar congratulated the Minister on the new appointment. “IOM is very honoured to support MoLSW and we are excited to further the collaboration under H.E. Mdm. Bykham’s leadership.” She added. Ms. Tuladhar reassured that IOM stands ready to support the MoLSW to strengthen labour migration management, which is part of the Ministry’s strategic mission.

IOM strives to protect migrant workers and to optimize the benefits of labour migration for both the country of origin and destination as well as for the migrants themselves. Specifically, in the current context, migrant workers play a critical role in the contribution of socio-economic recovery in any country.

MoLSW is the longest-standing partner of IOM in Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Since 2001, IOM has partnered with MoLSW in offering policy and technical advice to national governments that promote efficient, effective, and transparent labour migration flows; facilitating the ethical recruitment of workers; and capacitating officials and first responders in safe migration practices through various programming.

For more information, please contact Karen HO at IOM Vientiane. Tel. + 856 (20)55 136 294. Email:

Language English Posted: Thursday, April 8, 2021 - 17:10Image: Region-Country: Lao People’s Democratic RepublicDefault: Multimedia: 

H.E. Mdm. Baykham Khattiya met with Ms. Shareen Tuladhar on 7 April. Photo: IOM/2021

Ms. Shareen Tuladhar discussed the upcoming International Labour Day celebration with the Minister. Photo: IOM/2021

Press Release Type: Localtags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration Management
Categories: PBN

New Project to Strengthen Data-Informed and Migrant-Centred Migration Management Frameworks in India

Thu, 04/08/2021 - 09:01

New Delhi – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in India, the India Centre for Migration (ICM), the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) this week (23/03) formally launched the project Strengthening Data-Informed and Migrant-Centred Migration Management Frameworks in India.

The joint initiative has been developed in response to Government of India’s (GoI) investment in strengthening the availability of comprehensive labour migration data to facilitate gainful labour migration for aspiring migrants.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented effect on labour migration and mobility, IOM’s new project is committed to strengthening the evidence-base on migration to ensure increased preparedness, resilience, and recovery, and to facilitate the transition towards safe and well-managed labour mobility. The project aims to improve migration data collection and management frameworks in India, and create new initiatives to promote and facilitate labour migration from India to emerging markets in Europe.

The virtual project launch was inaugurated by Mr Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Secretary (CPV & OIA[VI1] ), MEA and Chairman of ICM. The event was opened by Mr Sarat Dash, IOM Chief of Mission for Sri Lanka and the Maldives and the Director General’s Special Envoy to India, and Mr Abbagani Ramu, Joint Secretary (OIA-I), MEA.

Mr Sanjay Awasthi, Head of Office of IOM India, Dr Surabhi Singh, Chief Administrative Officer of ICM, and Dr. Frank Laczko, Director of GMDAC, introduced the participants to the project framework.

Interventions and insights were provided by leading migration experts and practitioners including Mr Benoît Sauveroche, First Counsellor at the Delegation of the European Union to India and Bhutan, Dr. S.K. Sasikumar, Senior Fellow at V.V. Giri National Labour Institute, and Dr Sureshkumar Madhusudhanan, Chairman and Managing Director of Seagull Group of Companies, one of the largest international migrant recruitment agencies.

In his inaugural address, Mr Bhattacharyya said “This partnership between IOM and our think-tank ICM will explore global best practices in data management and will boost the availability of timely, accessible, reliable, disaggregated and comparable data which is essential to produce informed policies, action and public opinion,” adding that that the involvement of GMDAC will be an asset in these efforts. Furthermore, he shared, “I am happy that gender related aspects find focus in this project. Achieving a gender balanced migration strategy is a key priority for the government. I hope we shall further mainstream gender sensitive migration policies as well as ensure our migrant workers are equipped with the right skills and tools for the emerging destinations.”

Introducing the project framework, Mr Awasthi highlighted that “through targeted interventions, IOM aims to improve migration data collection and management frameworks, strengthen the available knowledgebase on emerging labour markets and trends in Europe, and foster multi-stakeholder engagement to support the development of data-informed and migrant-centred policies and programmes.” He also added that the project will contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially target 10.7 “to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people,” key objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), and IOM’s Migration Governance Framework (MiGOF).

During the two-year initiative, IOM will work in collaboration with ICM, MEA, GMDAC, and key government, academia, civil society, industry, and migrant community stakeholders. “For such exercises, partnerships and collaborations are crucial, and against this backdrop, ICM is extremely pleased to enter into collaboration with IOM on this project,” added Dr Surabhi Singh, Chief Administrative Officer of ICM.

Dr Frank Laczko, Director of GMDAC, extended his team’s support for the project and added, “As IOM’s data analysis center, [GMDAC] offers an international perspective to this project as we work with many different countries to provide training and guidance on migration data and statistics.”

In his intervention, Mr. Sauveroche extended his best wishes and the European Union’s support for the initiative. He emphasized the importance of common definitions and mutual understandings on migration data as an essential basis for constructive and robust bilateral dialogues, to ensure that policy makers have the ability to make decisions based on evidence rather than assumptions, perceptions and biases.

The Project Brochure can be downloaded here.

For further information please contact Sreyashi Bhattacharyya, IOM Project Officer, Email:

Language English Posted: Thursday, April 8, 2021 - 14:38Image: Region-Country: IndiaDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Localtags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration Management
Categories: PBN

First Comprehensive Global Analysis of COVID-19 Travel Restrictions, Border Closures Weighs Future Impacts on Mobility

Thu, 04/08/2021 - 04:05

GENEVA/WASHINGTON – While the overall picture of cross-border human mobility in 2020 is of movement dramatically curtailed as a result of measures imposed by governments since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report shows a varying reality over time and by region, with particularly harsh effects for refugees and other migrants who move out of necessity.  

The report resulting from the collaboration by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) marks the first comprehensive analysis of the travel measures and border closures that governments around the world took during 2020—which at their peak in mid-December exceeded 111,000 in place at one time. The report, COVID-19 and the State of Global Mobility in 2020, results from MPI analysis of IOM’s COVID-19 Mobility Impacts platform, which collects all of the actions taken by countries and subnational authorities to close international borders, restrict travel between particular locations, impose quarantines and health requirements for travellers, and establish “travel bubbles” and other arrangements. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has gravely impacted global mobility, stranding millions of people, migrant labourers, family members or international students overseas,” said IOM Director General António Vitorino. “This report draws out these dynamics over the course of 2020 and highlights the ways governments are attempting to restart mobility in 2021 and beyond.” 

Cross-border mobility in 2020 can be divided into three phases, the report’s authors find: 

  • January to May: Mobility lockdowns. In this first phase, countries introduced a raft of national lockdowns, other travel restrictions and health requirements to respond to the fast-evolving public health crisis. The scale of border closures was unprecedented, many occurring with limited coordination. By the end of March, governments had issued or extended 43,300 travel measures. Movements of all kinds were dramatically curtailed. For instance, the numbers of passengers on international flights in April and May were down by 92 per cent relative to the same months in 2019.  
  • June to September: Phased reopening. This period brought the staggered reopening of some points of entry, especially of airports. Travel bans were increasingly replaced by health measures, including certificates of pre-departure COVID-19 tests, quarantine measures or health declarations. During this phase, different strategies across the world began to crystallize. This was obvious most clearly in the divergent approaches of island countries: as New Zealand and Australia pursued virus-elimination strategies and maintained border closures, others such as the Caribbean islands opened up to tourism.  
  • October to December: Responses to new outbreaks and virus mutations. The remainder of the year was a mixed picture, as countries sought to replace travel restrictions with health requirements, while battling a second (and in some cases, third) wave of infections and grappling with the emergence of new variants of the virus. Some countries, including Chile, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates, opened even to tourists. Health certificates became the most common health-related travel measure.  

Three shifts in cross-border mobility were particularly visible, and could persist in the years ahead: 

  • Widening gulf between movers and non-movers. The pandemic has deeply curtailed the mobility prospects of some groups who move out of necessity, including refugees and migrant workers, while having little effect on business travellers and others with the resources and opportunity to cross borders for work, family or tourism. This gulf is especially likely to persist if travel begins to favour those who have been vaccinated or tested, or if reliance on digital health records makes a person’s ability to travel dependent on digital access and literacy. 
  • Greater socioeconomic vulnerabilities. The pandemic has amplified the socioeconomic vulnerability of those who depend on mobility for survival. Job losses have hit migrant workers hard, especially since in many countries they often work in sectors particularly disrupted by pandemic response measures or with a higher infection risk.  
  • Amplified relationships of dependence and exploitation. Restrictions on movement have increased the dependence of many migrants on intermediaries and facilitators, from employment agencies to smugglers. Even as fast-changing travel restrictions have increased the demand for smuggling services among people desperate to flee violence, natural disasters and economic deprivation, or to be able to return home, they have pushed smugglers to use more dangerous routes and raise their prices – exposing migrants and refugees to an increased risk of exploitation and trafficking. 

The report examines the future of mobility as countries begin to emerge slowly from the pandemic, finding no easy or one-size-fits-all answers.  

“More than a year on from the onset of the pandemic, it remains an open question what role border closures, travel restrictions and health-related travel requirements should play in a pandemic management response,” said MPI President Andrew Selee. “As new strains of the virus emerge, governments face the challenge of developing risk mitigation strategies that move beyond the blunt tools of border closures and travel bans. They also need to avoid unilateral responses and work with other governments and international organizations to develop well-planned border health policies.” 

Read the report here

About the 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 173 member states, a further nine 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. Learn more about IOM: 

About the Migration Policy Institute 

A nonpartisan organization, MPI seeks to improve immigration and integration policies through authoritative research and analysis, opportunities for learning and dialogue, and the development of new ideas to address complex policy questions. Founded in 2001, MPI provides analysis, development and evaluation of migration and refugee policies at local, national and international levels. It aims to meet the rising demand for pragmatic and thoughtful responses to the challenges and opportunities that large-scale migration, whether voluntary or forced, presents to communities and institutions in an increasingly integrated world. For more on MPI, visit  

Language English Posted: Thursday, April 8, 2021 - 07:24Image: Region-Country: GlobalDefault: Multimedia: 

The pandemic has gravely impacted global mobility, stranding millions of people, migrant labourers, family members or international students overseas. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: COVID-19Emergency Relief and ProtectionInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration Management
Categories: PBN

IOM and Post-Cyclone Reconstruction Cabinet Sign Cooperation Agreement

Wed, 04/07/2021 - 06:48

Beira - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Post-Cyclone Reconstruction Cabinet (GREPOC) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen collaboration, provide support to the people of Mozambique affected by the natural disasters of 2019, and improve resilience and preparedness of vulnerable population living in hazard-prone areas.

IOM Mozambique and GREPOC committed to work together for the reconstruction of areas impacted by natural disasters, as demonstrated in efforts over the past 3 years.

IOM has targeted the reconstruction of 2,600 resilient houses; to date more than 1,367 houses have been built with local materials, and the construction of 1,233 additional houses are ongoing.  Traditional construction techniques have been enhanced to build safer and more resilient houses. IOM has been exploring and testing in these constructions, more durable solutions that include the construction of resilient houses made of Pau e Pique (thatched housing), coral ragstone and compressed stabilized earth bricks. Local artisans and communities have been formed and oriented in “on the job” trainings that show key recommendations for stronger foundations, stronger roof connections and improved forms to use locally available materials.

The MoU is based in the Post Disaster Needs Assessment and the Housing Recovery Plan (PALPOC) and within the framework of the 5-year Disaster Recovery Framework of the Government of Mozambique.

 IOM Mozambique Chief of Mission Laura Tomm-Bonde said, “Tens of thousands of families continue to struggle to re-establish their housing and livelihoods following the 2019 cyclones. IOM is pleased to formalize our cooperation with GREPOC, to confirm our continued commitment and effort to support vulnerable families in line with the Government of Mozambique’s recovery efforts”.

“IOM has always been ready to support us, particularly to assist vulnerable populations in need of physical, social and economic reconstruction,” said Engineer Francisco Pereira, Executive Director of the Post-Cyclone Reconstruction Cabinet. “IOM is a credible organization, and has helped our country in many situations, particularly in times of emergency in support of the transfer of vulnerable families and the creation of resettlement sites. We are delighted to have you as partners.”

GREPOC brings together the actors to implement the Post-Cyclone Reconstruction Program and supporting thousands of families who continue to need housing assistance.

This agreement is part of the GREPOC long-term effort to provide support and work in cooperation with affected communities. In addition to use of local materials the IOM approach uses Build Back Safer construction techniques and assist communities through cash for work schemes  .

For more information, please contact IOM Mozambique:
Manuel Mabuiangue, phone:  +258 847345420, Email:

Language English Posted: Wednesday, April 7, 2021 - 12:39Image: Region-Country: MozambiqueDefault: Multimedia: 

Post-Cyclone Reconstruction Cabinet (GREPOC) signing ceremony. Photo: IOM

Post-Cyclone Reconstruction Cabinet (GREPOC) signing ceremony. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Localtags 2021: International Cooperation and Partnerships
Categories: PBN

IOM Republic of Korea Hosts Seminar and Workshop on Humanitarian Assistance to DPRK and the Engagement of ROK Civil Society

Wed, 04/07/2021 - 03:35

Seoul, Republic of Korea – Civil society organisations in Republic of Korea (ROK) have long played a vital role in the field of humanitarian aid to Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) accumulating valuable expertise over the years. However, diverse challenges have emerged due not only to strained inter-Korean relations, but also to various international sanctions imposed on DPRK in the last decade.

In order to bolster the engagement of ROK CSOs in international dialogues on humanitarian aid to DPRK, IOM ROK and the Korea NGO Council for Cooperation with North Korea (KNCCK) jointly hosted the ‘Seminar and Workshop on Humanitarian Assistance to DPRK and Engagement of ROK Civil Society’ on 1 to 2 April 2021.

The seminar sought to share the latest updates on humanitarian assistance to DPRK provided by various international actors and explore the possible pathways for ROK CSOs to go beyond existing restrictions through strengthened international coordination and active partnership. Experts from domestic and organizations shared their knowledge and experiences to  international promote the understanding of the needs and priorities of humanitarian aid to DPRK and to foster the strengthened foundation to overcome current challenges and move forward.

“IOM is dedicated to facilitating stronger global partnerships for ROK CSOs, not only to raise their capacity in ROK but also to make use of their accumulated expertise in raising capacity of CSOs in other countries,” said IOM ROK Chief of Mission, Steve Hamilton. “We hope that we will lend support to organizations providing assistance in DPRK and closer collaboration in a forum such as this, provides a strong base for expansion of humanitarian assistance to DPRK.” He added.

The first day started with a session on international aid to DPRK within the global development and humanitarian cooperation frameworks. Information sharing and peer-to-peer learning sessions were organized afterwards to facilitate discussions on strategies adopted for humanitarian assistance to DPRK. Participants were encouraged to discuss on ways forward for the ROK CSOs to deliver principled and uninterrupted humanitarian aid to DPRK based on their comparative advantages and accumulated experiences from the past.

On day two, the working-level workshop on the engagement of the ROK civil society in international humanitarian assistance to DPRK was organized as a back-to-back event to the seminar held on the day one. The workshop was designed to provide participants with the socioeconomic situation in DPRK and further discuss practical steps and ways for ROK CSOs to overcome existing challenges and increase their contribution to DPRK humanitarian aid.

The seminar and workshop were attended by 27 practitioners from ROK NGOs engaged in humanitarian assistance to DPRK. Considering the sensitivity of the topic, the first day’s program was a closed-door session. Due to cross-border travel restrictions posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the workshop combined online live lectures by the foreign experts combined with on-site lectures and discussions.

Since 2015, IOM ROK has been providing capacity-building support for ROK humanitarian actors with financial support from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA). The seminar and workshop were organized as part of this capacity-building support program.

For more information, please contact Eunice Jieun KIM, IOM Republic of Korea Mission, Tel.: +82 70 4820 0291, Email:

Language English Posted: Wednesday, April 7, 2021 - 09:17Image: Region-Country: Republic of KoreaDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Localtags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration Management
Categories: PBN