Home / Press Room IOM

Press Room IOM

IOM’s GMDAC, European Commission to Create Big Data for Migration Alliance

IOM - News - Mar, 02/20/2018 - 09:49
Language English

Berlin – The European Commission Knowledge Centre on Migration and Demography (KCMD) and IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) are planning to create a Big Data for Migration Alliance (BD4M) to address the challenges of having and exploiting migration data and to increase investments into data innovation in the field of migration.

The BD4M aims to advance discussions on ways to harness the potential of new data sources or “big data,” such as social media user data, for migration analysis and to provide decision-makers easy access to use up-to-date data in policymaking.

The BD4M would do so by:
a) Promoting sharing of knowledge on data innovation in the field of migration;
b) Providing technical support to local and national administrations interested in using new data sources; and
c) Testing new data applications for specific policy needs.

The need to utilize big data was stressed in an expert workshop co-organized by the KCMD and GMDAC at the Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy on 30 November 2017.

The international community often talks about a lack of migration data. In fact, an abundance of data that is relevant for migration is being produced in real time, but it is yet to be fully exploited by national statistical offices and policymakers.

Traditional data on migration have their limitations, particularly in terms of costs, coverage and timeliness. Meanwhile, most data today are not collected by national statistical offices but by private companies or international agencies. The opportunities offered by new data sources should not be ignored.

The idea of the mission is to build an alliance to facilitate dialogue and partnerships at all levels. IOM’s GMDAC and KCMD are now soliciting participation in BD4M from representatives of international and non-governmental organizations, national statistical offices, academia, and the private sector interested in contributing, in various capacities, to this mission.

For more information, please see the new Data Bulletin issue on big data and migration, and visit the KCMD-IOM workshop website.

For further information please contact Marzia Rango, IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, mrango@iom.int
Michele Vespe, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, michele.vespe@ec.europa.eu

Posted: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 15:39Image: Region-Country: GermanyDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM DRC Assists Returnees, Displaced Families in Tanganyika, Welcomes Additional Funding from Sweden

IOM - News - Mar, 02/20/2018 - 08:50

Kalemie – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) successfully carried out the first voluntary return operation from Tanganyika Province on 17 February. The return operation was preceded by a survey conducted among the internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in the collective center EP La Gloire, a school located in Kalemie, Tanganyika’s provincial capital. The survey revealed that 30 households intended to return voluntarily to their area of origin, and 891 households wanted to be transferred to another displacement site in Kalemie. 

The operation was carefully planned alongside the humanitarian community and Congolese authorities. The day of the operations, another 71 households expressed their wish to return voluntarily to their area of origin instead of being transferred to another displacement site. IOM, acting swiftly and in close collaboration with the Congolese authorities, was able to finally return 102 households to the Kasanga-Mtoa area, for a total of 230 returnees.

“The returning families received transportation, refreshments and medical assistance and spent the journey from the collective center back to their villages singing with joy,” said IOM Head of Office in Kalemie Amalia Torres. 

However, a majority of IDPs living in spontaneous displacement sites in and around Kalemie City are still pondering whether they should return to areas they left months ago because of insecurity.

“IDPs I met in Kalunga site have told me they will return home once they believe the security conditions are adequate,” Torres added. “We stand ready to help them return home once they tell us the time is right. In the meantime, IOM will continue to provide them with the assistance they need.” Plans to return and transfer the remaining IDPs in EP La Gloire will continue in the coming days.

Following the launch of IOM’s humanitarian crisis appeal for the DRC, Sweden announced on 7 February that it would double its funding for IOM’s emergency operations in Tanganyika and North Kivu.

This announcement follows the recent field visit to Kalemie of Mårten Löfberg from the Swedish Embassy in Kinshasa, who went to displacement sites and met with internally displaced households from 14 to 16 February.    

The humanitarian situation in the DRC has deteriorated dramatically over the past year. The country has witnessed a significant increase in conflict and violence. The violence has also spread to areas and provinces previously considered stable and calm, such as the provinces of Kasai and Tanganyika. Due to the increased conflict, DRC has become the African country with the highest number of IDPs estimated at 4.35 million.

On 11 December 2017, IOM launched an appeal for USD 75 million to urgently meet the growing needs of displaced people and the communities hosting them across the country. IOM’s interventions will focus on the following sectors: Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM), Displacement Tracking, Shelter and Non-Food Items, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Health, and Protection, particularly responding to gender-based violence. As of today, IOM DRC has received USD 4.9 million to address the needs of the appeal.

The IOM Humanitarian Appeal for the Democratic Republic of the Congo is available online at https://www.iom.int/sites/default/files/country_appeal/file/IOM-Appeal-DRC11.12.2017.pdf

For more information, please contact Amàlia Torres, + 243 811 872 368, Email amtorres@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 15:45Image: Region-Country: Democratic Republic of the CongoThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

The return operation was preceded by a survey conducted among the displaced population. © IOM

The families boarding the bus taking them back to their villages. © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Reconstruction Needed as Displaced Iraqis Continue to Return: IOM Iraq

IOM - News - Mar, 02/20/2018 - 08:48

Kuwait – As the recent Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq came to a close, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reported that internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Iraq continue to return home by the thousands. 

According to IOM’s latest Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) report, as of 31 January 2018 more than 3.3 million Iraqis have returned to their areas of origin, while nearly 2.5 million people continue to live in displacement. New IOM figures show that return movements are ongoing – in January another 125,000 returnees were identified – mainly to the four governorates of Ninewa, Salah al-Din, Kirkuk and Anbar.

Since the start of the crisis in early 2014, with ISIL later holding large parts of central Iraq and the subsequent conflict to retake these areas, nearly six million Iraqis have been displaced. Their communities have suffered widespread devastation and damage.

In January 2018, for the first time in more than three years, there were more returnees than internally displaced people. In the last three years, Anbar Governorate has received the largest number of returnees in the country, due to improved security, rehabilitation of services and rebuilding of infrastructures.

In January 2018, the three governorates reporting the biggest decreases in IDP numbers were Ninewa (- 6 per cent), Baghdad (- 12 per cent), and Anbar (- 17 per cent). Together, they account for almost two-thirds of the nationwide decrease of IDPs (more than 145,000). Of the remaining 2.47 million IDPs in Iraq, only half (51 per cent) are reportedly housed in private settings, while more than a quarter (26 per cent) still live in camps.

Though Ninewa Governorate accounts for two-thirds (nearly 84,000) of the new returnees identified in January, IOM has noted that not all returnees to Mosul city stay there.

Due to lack of security, services and livelihood opportunities in west Mosul, approximately 600 families returned in January to Haj Ali camp.

Returnees living in critical shelters, including informal settlements and unfinished buildings, are concentrated in four governorates – Diyala (21,500 individuals), Salah al-Din (12,400), Ninewa (7,500) and Kirkuk (800). Iraq’s urgent need for fast-track reconstruction to assist the reintegration of IDPs in their areas of origin was also discussed at the recent Kuwait International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq this past week.

“As Iraq enters the recovery phase after three years of conflict, we should remember that real reconstruction of the country will not only be based on rebuilding infrastructure,” said IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Gerard Waite. “Provision of specialized support to all who survived the conflict is also needed, alongside reconstruction of infrastructure.”

During the Kuwait conference, the UN launched a two-year Recovery and Resilience Programme, in which IOM Iraq takes part, to assist the Iraqi government in addressing the multiple needs for rebuilding and reconstruction in the country. The UN Secretary General spoke about the programme in his speech at the conference.

IOM Iraq, in partnership with the Government of Iraq, is focusing its recovery assistance on areas of return. This assistance includes mobile community information centres, light infrastructure projects, housing rehabilitation, strengthening health facilities, relief kit distribution and livelihood support.

For more information on displacement across Iraq, visit the IOM Iraq DTM Portal: http://iraqdtm.iom.int

The latest DTM report, with data through 31 January is available at:
http://iraqdtm.iom.int/LastDTMRound/Round88_Report_English_2018_January_31_IOM_DTM.pdf

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 15:44Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM reports that thousands of Iraqi internally displaced persons (IDPs) continue to return home. © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Partners with Americares to Provide Lifesaving Medical Supplies in Somalia

IOM - News - Mar, 02/20/2018 - 08:47

Somalia – IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, has partnered with Americares to donate more than eight tonnes of medical supplies, for distribution across IOM project locations in Somaliland, Puntland, Lower Juba, Gedo and Banadir regions. The supplies will immediately be dispatched to IOM’s static and mobile clinics, to increase local access to life-saving primary healthcare services.

Inadequate funding for healthcare continues to hinder the delivery of life-saving health services to populations in need across Somalia. The situation is further exacerbated by ongoing disease outbreaks including Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD)/cholera and measles.

In 2017, IOM provided emergency primary healthcare to over 470,000 beneficiaries. This is Americares’ seventh major shipment to Somalia to tackle the drought and AWD/cholera outbreak. The shipments include more than 190,000 litres of intravenous fluids, enough to treat 24,000 patients with AWD/cholera and other waterborne diseases.

Americares responds to an average of 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year, establishing long-term recovery projects and bringing disaster preparedness programmes to vulnerable communities.

IOM Somalia Chief of Mission Dyane Epstein stated: “Improving access to medical supplies to ensure health facility stock outs are avoided is of the utmost urgency to alleviate the impact of the current crisis.”

“The crisis in East Africa is one of the worst humanitarian emergencies in decades,” said Americares Director of Emergency Response Kate Dischino. “IOM and Americares are partnering to ensure families have access to basic medicines and medical supplies, including lifesaving cholera treatments.”

More than five million people in Somalia have limited access to healthcare. The situation is worsened by a ravaging drought – the worst in decades. In 2017, more than 60,000 AWD/cholera cases and 800 deaths were reported in 52 districts across 16 regions of the country.

For more information please contact the Programme Support Unit at IOM Somalia, Tel: +254715990600, Email: iomsomaliapsu@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 15:42Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

In 2017, IOM Somalia provided emergency primary healthcare to over 470,000 beneficiaries. © IOM

This is Americares’ 7th major shipment to Somalia in response to the drought and acute watery diarrhoea/cholera outbreak. © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 8,807 in 2018; Deaths Reach 411

IOM - News - Mar, 02/20/2018 - 08:47

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 8,807 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through seven weeks of 2018. This compares with 13,156 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.


On Monday (19 February) IOM Rome reported official figures from Italy’s Ministry of Interior (MOI) show 4,864 irregular migrants have arrived by sea this year:  51.64 per cent lower than the total last year in the same period, when MOI figures show 10,057 arrived. (See chart below)

IOM’s Flavio Di Giacomo added 276 migrants were rescued on Sunday by the Italian Coast Guard and by the NGO Pro Activa Open Arms in three separate rescue operations. Migrants were being brought to Italian ports late Monday, Di Giacomo said.

IOM Greece’s Kelly Namia reported no landings of irregular migrants by sea during the days 13-14 February, or over the holiday weekend that ended Monday (19/02).

IOM Libya's Christine Petré reported that on Monday (19 February) IOM provided food and emergency medical assistance to 117 migrants, who had been returned to Libyan shores by the Libyan Coast Guard after attempting the journey to Italy across the Mediterranean Sea.

According to testimonies from survivors, she explained, these migrants embarked on their journey in the western coast city of Azzawya; their rubber boat started taking on water after six hours at sea. Among the migrants were five women, 84 men and 28 children (all males), as well as one pregnant woman.
IOM is following up with psychosocial support to the surviving migrants.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 2,016 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 18 February, about twice the number arriving through this date in 2017. The 616 arrivals this month already have exceeded all those of the full months of February in each of the last three years (see charts below).

Dodevska also shared the following data from Spain’s Ministry of Interior for Sea Arrivals since 2015:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

While arrivals on this western route are even fewer than those IOM is seeing off Greece, the western route is much more deadly. No reports of a migrant dying at sea have been reported on the Eastern Mediterranean route in 2018; the remains of 96 men, women and children have been recorded in the waters between North Africa and Spain this year.
This route is almost three times as lethal for migrants as it has been over the previous three years (see chart below).

Fatalities for all the Mediterranean through 18 February stand at 411 men, women and children – compared with 270 at this time last year, an increase of just over 50 per cent.

Most recently, seven deaths were recorded on the Western Mediterranean route between Algeria and Spain. The remains of three migrants were found off the coast of Ain Témouchent last week: on 14 February, the bodies of two Sub-Saharan young men were recovered in Plage de Sassel and Plage Sbiat, while one day after, on 15 February, another body was found near Plage Bouzedjar.

Remains of three more migrants were recovered west of Oran: on 15 February, two bodies were recovered from Plage des Andalouses; on 16 February another body was found in Plage de Madagh. On Saturday, 17 February, the remains of another migrant were found 10km off the coast of Chlef province, near Mostaganem.

In the past four weeks, 18 of some 96 people who have died trying to reach Spain from North Africa this year were found in or near Algerian coastal waters.

IOM Algeria Chief of Mission Pascal Reyntjens said: “The increase of the number of fatalities recorded and reported on the Algerian shores shows a drastic increase” says Pascal Reyntjens, Chief of Mission of IOM in Algeria. “The reasons behind this growing visibility needs to be further analyzed at this stage. While in the past, sea crossing of “harragas” were mainly taking place from the Eastern side of Algeria, it seems that recently there has been a shift towards the Western shores of the country.”

In terms of type of migrants, it appears that the majority are Algerian citizens, he explained, adding: “We cannot exclude that a new trend of irregular migration organized by smugglers will also allow other nationalities – such as sub Saharans – to attempt this dangerous crossing."

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded 637 migrant fatalities in 2018 (see chart below).

The MMP team recorded three deaths on the US/Mexico border over the past few days. On 15 February, US Border Patrol agents discovered skeletal remains in a ranch in Brooks County, near Falfurrias, Texas. On 14 February, a 33-year-old Mexican national was found dead at the bottom of Pump Canyon in Val Verde County, Texas, near the border with Mexico. On 18 February, a young man drowned in the Río Bravo while attempting to reach the United States. His body was recovered from a small island in the river near Guerrero, Tamaulipas, by Mexican civil protection authorities.

In the area MMP designates as “Central America” – Mexico and the republics of Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama and Belize – one person was killed by a freight train, on 18 February near Atitalaquia, Mexico.
MMP data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on missing migrants are collected, click here.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic here
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: mmocanu@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Olivia Headon, IOM Libya, Tel: + +216510 84554 Email: oheadon@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya. Tel. +216 29 240 448 Email : chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel: +216 71 860 312 ext. 109, Mobile: +216 2878 7805, Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 15:41Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency to Support 1,000 Dominican Families Rebuild

IOM - News - Mar, 02/20/2018 - 08:47

Roseau – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) is supporting the Government of Dominica to improve the conditions of people living in emergency shelters around Dominica after Hurricane Maria destroyed almost 20 per cent and severely damaged another 55 per cent of the housing stock on the island, five months ago.

IOM, with funding from UK Aid, the European Commission humanitarian agency (ECHO) and the Government of Australia, will provide roof repairs and core shelter solutions for over one thousand vulnerable families in affected communities in the north east, west central and north west of the island. Core shelters are small basic structures, built in accordance with the Government of Dominica´s Building Guidelines, and designed in such a way that they can be expanded on.

Currently, assessment of potential beneficiaries is taking place in Woodfordhill, and roof repair works are at different stages for close to 20 households so far in that community.  In total, IOM intends to provide shelter solutions for almost 150 households in Woodfordhill. IOM will also be undertaking similar work in Marigot, Wesley, Calibishie, Bense and Anse de Mai in the north east.

On the West Coast, IOM is collaborating with village councils and other community leaders to choose beneficiaries. “All households in the affected communities cannot be assisted and so key groups have been identified in line with criteria endorsed by the Ministry of Social Services, Gender and Family Affairs as having the least capacity to recover without support,” explained Jan-Willem Wegdam, head of the IOM team deployed in Dominica since the hurricane hit the island. 

Households with elderly members, pregnant and lactating women and members who have disabilities or chronic illness that affect their mobility and ability to provide for themselves, will be prioritized. Single male or female headed households, large households with many children who are not able to work for income, poor households living in unsafe structures or an uninhabitable house due to the impact of the hurricane, and with low self-recovery capacity (including loss of livelihoods) will also be prioritized.

IOM is recruiting local engineers, architects, carpenters and contractors in these areas for training them in techniques for building back better, and to work for pay on community recovery programmes.

For further information please contact Maxine Alleyne-Esprit at IOM Dominica, Tel: + (767) 285-0794, Email: malleyne@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 15:40Image: Region-Country: DominicaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM is recruiting local engineers, architects, carpenters and contractors who are then trained in techniques for building back better. © IOM

Core shelters are small basic structures, built and designed in such a way that they can be extended. © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency, Indonesian Ministry of Manpower Expand Cooperation to Protect Migrant Workers

IOM - News - Mar, 02/20/2018 - 08:47

Indonesia – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and Indonesia’s Ministry of Manpower have signed a Technical Agreement committing them to improve protection for migrant workers and combat human trafficking in the country’s eastern province of Nusa Tenggara Timur.

The agreement will focus on IOM support for the ministry’s Productive Migrant Villages (Desmigratif) programme, which targets the home villages of migrant workers to improve services for prospective migrants planning to work abroad and to improve the economic self-reliance and living standards of their families.

Nusa Tenggara Timur, one of Indonesia’s poorer regions, experiences high levels of outward migration, both to other parts of Indonesia and abroad. 

At a signing ceremony in Jakarta on February 19th, IOM Director General William Lacy Swing highlighted IOM’s global experience in working with government partners to maximize the benefits of labour migration programmes. “The Desmigratif programme is an impressive initiative that combines the tools for protection and empowerment of Indonesian migrant workers and their families,” he noted.

“The Desmigratif programme is our newest approach to improve the protection of Indonesian migrant workers directly in their home villages,” added Hanif Dhakiri, the Indonesian Minister of Manpower.  “We truly appreciate IOM Indonesia’s activities on the protection of these migrants.” 

“Traffickers often prey on the vulnerability of migrant workers who are first and foremost looking for ways to provide for their families. In Nusa Tenggara Timur, where labour migration has become a way of life, comprehensive public private partnerships that empower migrant communities are essential,” said IOM Indonesia Chief of Mission Mark Getchell.

The UN Migration Agency is currently implementing a project in Nusa Tenggara Timur with funding from the US State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP.)  Since 2005, IOM Indonesia has helped over 8,900 victims of trafficking with shelter, psychosocial, legal, educational, and economic empowerment assistance.

For more information please contact Patrik Shirak at IOM Indonesia, Tel. +622157951275, Email: pshirak@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 15:43Image: Region-Country: IndonesiaThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM DG William Lacy Swing and Minister of Manpower Hanif Dhakiri in Jakarta on 19 February 2018. © IOM

Mark Getchell, IOM Indonesia Chief of Mission, and Maruli A. Hasoloan, Director General of Labor Placement and Employment Opportunity Expansion, sign a technical agreement to cooperate on trafficking in persons and empowerment of migrant workers in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency: Over 1,200 Migrant Children Deaths Recorded Since 2014, True Number Likely ‘Much Higher’

IOM - News - Ven, 02/16/2018 - 08:02

Berlin – In 2015, a photo of a Syrian boy found dead on a beach in Turkey after attempting to reach Greece made headlines across the world. Since then, many more children have died during migration, but the true scale of these tragedies is unknown due to a severe lack of data.

Since IOM, the UN Migration Agency, began collecting data in 2014 through the Missing Migrants Project, it has recorded the deaths of more than 1,200 child migrants, nearly half of whom perished while attempting to cross the Mediterranean. This figure represents less than 5 per cent of the total number of migrant deaths recorded during this period by IOM.

The real figure is likely to be much higher, given that approximately 12.5 per cent of all migrants are under the age of 18, and the number of children migrating around the world has been increasing in recent years. For example, roughly one quarter of the approximately one million migrants who arrived by sea to Italy and Greece in 2015 were children, and, in the case of Italy, 72 per cent were unaccompanied.

The call to action released yesterday by UNICEF, IOM, UNHCR, Eurostat, and OECD highlights the lack of data essential for understanding how migration affects children and their families – and for designing policies and programmes to meet their needs. Data on children moving irregularly across borders, and those who have gone missing or lost their lives during their migratory journeys are particularly scarce.

“We are aware that there are a growing number of children on the move, and that many of these children face significant risks during their journeys,” said Frank Laczko, Director of IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, which hosts the Missing Migrants Project. “In only about 40 per cent of cases where we record a migrant death are we able to estimate the age of the person who died,” he said. “It is extremely difficult to find data disaggregated by age.”

Of the 1,202 deaths of child migrants recorded by the Missing Migrants Project, their age is provided in only 21 per cent of cases. Often, sources will only mention that the deceased person is a ‘child’ or ‘infant,’ which means that it is difficult to assess which child migrants are most vulnerable. Of the children whose age was provided, the average was just 8 years old at the time of their death. Fifty-eight of these children were infants under the age of 1, and 67 were between 1 and 5 years old.

Though the scarcity of data on child migrants means that it is impossible to say which migratory route is most dangerous for children, the available data indicate that crossing the Mediterranean, especially from Turkey to Greece, is particularly deadly. At least 396 migrants under the age of 18 died while crossing the Eastern Mediterranean since 2014, with a further 164 recorded on the Central Mediterranean route, and 16 on the Western Mediterranean route.

However, as less than 20 per cent of the more than 15,000 deaths recorded on these routes contain information on age, IOM’s recent Fatal Journeys report estimates that at least 1,300 children have died in the Mediterranean since 2014.

Worldwide, the Missing Migrants Project has recorded the deaths of 137 children migrating in Africa, 20 on the US-Mexico border, and 18 on land in Europe. By far the most deaths were due to drowning – 681 children have been lost while crossing a body of water, most of whom perished in the Mediterranean Sea or the Bay of Bengal. Sixty-eight children died due to vehicle accidents or suffocation during vehicular transport; 50 due to exposure to harsh environments during their journeys; 35 as a result of violence; and 23 due to illness and lack of access to medicine.

Some 803 of the children recorded in the Missing Migrants Project database were originally from Asia, including the Middle East, while another 171 of the dead were from African nations. Sixty-one were from the Americas, while the origin of the remaining 167 children could not be determined.

Gathering more and better-quality data on migrant children is extremely important at a time when states are discussing how best to achieve safer and more orderly migration. Finding better ways to measure and document child migrant deaths is also important given the inclusion of migration and age in the in the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development. According to this agenda, states have agreed to work towards promoting safe, orderly and regular migration, and to end preventable deaths of children.

Julia Black, Coordinator of the Missing Migrants Project, concluded, “We know that our data are incomplete. The truth is that the number of children who die during migration is much higher than what we know. Obtaining better data could help to reduce such tragedies in the future, as well as help families to identify their loved ones.”

For more information, please contact Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int; Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 16, 2018 - 14:43Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration and YouthMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Migrants and refugees arrive at the Greek island of Lesbos. File photo: © Amanda Nero / IOM 2015

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 8,407 in 2018; Deaths Reach 404

IOM - News - Ven, 02/16/2018 - 08:02

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 8,407 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through seven weeks of 2018. This compares with 12,430 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

On Thursday (15/02) IOM Rome reported Italy’s official Ministry of Interior figures on registered nationalities of the nearly 4,200 migrants who arrived by sea in January. The leaders this early part of the year have largely come from countries whose arrivals were much fewer a year ago. Eritrea, with 1,184 arrivals registered, accounted for almost 30 per cent of all arrivals last month, while merely 16 Eritreans were registered arriving in all of January 2017.

Eritreans were also among the majority of migrants killed or injured this week in a smugglers’ truck crash southeast of Bani Waleed, Libya. Some 180 migrants from Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia were identified by IOM personnel after the crash Wednesday. That, plus the rising numbers of Eritreans arriving last month to Italy may be an indication that a nationality whose numbers dropped sharply on this route in 2016 and 2017 may be returning.

“While it’s probably too early to draw conclusions from these data on nationalities, the increase of arrivals of Eritreans in January is a trend that we should monitor,” said Federico Soda, Director of IOM’s Coordinating Office in the Mediterranean. “So it is with the arrivals of Pakistanis. The arrival of Libyan citizens also bears watching. Since 2017 we have witnessed a low, but constant, number of Libyans deciding to risk a sea crossing to Europe, averaging 130 per month in the second half of last year.”

Tunisians (611 arrivals) were nearly 40 times more numerous than during a similar period last year, while Pakistanis (273 arrivals) were more than 20 times as numerous. Nigerians (212) and Libyans (204) made up the rest of the top five nationalities (see chart below).

 

 

IOM Greece’s Kelly Namia reported Thursday that over recent days (11-12/02) the Hellenic Coast Guard reported two incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Lesvos and Samos. The Coast Guard rescued 84 migrants and transferred them to these two islands. Another 89 migrants arrived in Kos and Lesvos without assistance.

These landings bring to 1,902 all sea arrivals of irregular migrants since January 1, an average of just over 44 persons per day, almost the same average as was recorded at this time last year. These low arrival numbers compare to a rate of around 2,000 per day through mid-February in 2016.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 1,749 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 11 February.

Dodevska also shared the following data from Spain’s Ministry of Interior for Sea Arrivals since 2015:

 

While arrivals on this western route are even fewer than those IOM is seeing off Greece, the western route is deadlier. No reports of a migrant dying at sea have been reported on the Eastern Mediterranean route in 2018; the remains of 89 men, women and children have been recorded in the waters between North Africa and Spain this year.

Most recently, three deaths were recorded in the Western Mediterranean. On 10 February, one body was recovered off Zeralda beach in Algeria, while on 13 February another body was recovered in Sidi Mejdoub, west of Mostaganem. In Spain, the body of a Sub-Saharan man was found near Port of Cabopino, Málaga on 12 February.

Since the start of November 2017, the Western Mediterranean has recorded 159 deaths at sea, or about ten per week.  IOM researchers note that for the years 2015-2017 – when 35,579 irregular migrants entered Europe by this sea route – the 454 additional migrants whose deaths were recorded represented less than 1.3 per cent of all those attempting this passage. In 2018, the deaths of 89 migrants out of just over 1,800 total voyagers represent a fatality rate of 5 per cent – making passage on these sea lanes about four times as deadly (see chart below).

Total deaths in the Mediterranean in 2018 now stand at 404 migrants since the start of 2018, compared with 261 at this time last year.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 625 migrant fatalities in 2018 (see chart below).

On the Greece-Turkey border, three people died and four went missing after a boat carrying eight migrants and refugees capsized in the river Evros (Meriç or Maritsa) in Turkey’s north-western Edirne province on Monday (12 February). One person managed to reach Greece, while rescue teams recovered three bodies (one woman and two children).

In North Africa, at least 19 migrants died and 49 were injured in a truck accident 60 kilometres south-east of Bani Waleed in Libya, a transit location on a much-used migration route through the country to the coast. Around 180 people were crammed into the truck’s cargo containers; 138 of them were Eritrean, while the remaining were Somali and Ethiopian. Of the 19 reported victims, four were children, one was an adult woman and 14 were adult men.

On the US/Mexico border, one young man from El Salvador drowned in the Río Bravo near Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, Tamaulipas. His body was recovered by Mexican civil protection authorities on 12 February.

The UN Refugee Agency reported that at least six refugees have drowned on Lake Albert as they were escaping conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to seek safety in Uganda. On 7 February, two people died at the DRC shores of Lake Albert, where thousands of people are waiting to cross, as some wrangled to get onto the boats. On 11 February, a small canoe carrying four refugees capsized on the lake when it was hit by high waves.

MMP data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on missing migrants are collected, click here.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic here
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: mmocanu@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui at IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Olivia Headon, IOM Libya, Tel: + +216510 84554 Email: oheadon@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya. Tel. +216 29 240 448 Email: Chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel: +216 71 860 312 Ext. 109, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 16, 2018 - 14:41Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Rohingya Children Draw Their Dreams: And It Looks Like Home...

IOM - News - Ven, 02/16/2018 - 08:02

Cox’s Bazar – When 10-year-old Ansarullah was asked to draw his dream and greatest wish, he drew a house.

So did almost every other of the 25 Rohingya refugee children who took part in a recent drawing activity session run by IOM’s psychosocial support team in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

Children account for around 60 per cent of the 688,000 Rohingya refugees who fled violence in Myanmar to Bangladesh in the past six months.

Satellite images show widespread burning and destruction of the homes they left behind. Many lost relatives or friend to the violence or during their flight.

Most now live in what has been termed the world’s biggest refugee camp, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, crammed into shelters made of polythene sheet or tarpaulins, which barely protect them from the elements.

Ansarullah, who says he wants to be a teacher when he grows up to help people, explained he drew things he liked the best.

“I drew flowers, home, Myanmar people and friends. I wrote my name, and my friend’s name and my school’s name at the drawing class. I enjoyed it a lot.”

Bar one creative little boy who drew a boat-like car, and a few who focused on abstract floral designs, houses, with family inside, dominated the refugee children’s expressions of their dreams.

Several of the youngsters also included pictures of the Bangladesh flag in their drawings.

“I enjoyed drawing the flowers and the house and people. And I enjoyed drawing Bangladesh’s flag,” added Ansarullah.

While psychologists stress that drawings alone cannot give a complete insight into a child’s emotional experiences, IOM psychosocial support coordinator Olga Rebolledo, who organized the drawing activity, said: “Generally speaking, the meanings that the children are giving their drawings are connected to what they expect, and their wishes to be protected and feel safe.”

Rebolledo explained that simply being given an opportunity to connect with their feelings and express their thoughts can be a therapeutic activity for children.

But for Ansarullah, the drawing session also provided another benefit. It was a chance to make new friends.

“They killed my friend in Myanmar. They (my friends) aren’t in Bangladesh. People came here, started living near us and I made friends with them. We play, fly kites, study and write together.”

But sometimes, he added, he still wanted more friends. The drawing activity, he said, made him feel good because he was surrounded by other children doing fun things.

“It was nice to spend time in a nice place like that,” he said of the basic, open-fronted shelter at the local IOM clinic where the drawing activity took place.  “I liked the other kids.”

More than 1,300 children have received psychosocial support from IOM in Cox’s Bazar since September 2017.

IOM helped to provide shelter kits including tarpaulins, bamboo poles and basic household items that reached around 600,000 people in the first five months of the crisis. It is now helping roll out shelter upgrade kits that will help 120,000 families reinforce their shelters ahead of the rainy season.

For more information please contact Fiona MacGregor at IOM Cox's Bazar. Email: fmacgregor@iom.int, Tel. +8801733335221.

Language English Posted: Friday, February 16, 2018 - 14:42Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration and YouthRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Rohingya refugee children draw their dreams at an IOM psychosocial support workshop in the Kutapalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. © IOM

Rohingya refugee children draw their dreams at an IOM psychosocial support workshop in the Kutapalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. © IOM

Rohingya refugee children draw their dreams at an IOM psychosocial support workshop in the Kutapalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. © IOM

Rohingya refugee children draw their dreams at an IOM psychosocial support workshop in the Kutapalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. © IOM

Rohingya refugee children draw their dreams at an IOM psychosocial support workshop in the Kutapalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. © IOM

Ansarullah, 10, stands amid polythene shelters at the Kutapalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Pacific Region Discusses Links between Human Mobility, Environment and Climate Change

IOM - News - Ven, 02/16/2018 - 08:00

Suva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in collaboration with the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD), has organized a regional capacity building workshop for Pacific Islands on Human Mobility in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change, hosted by the Government of Fiji.

The event held on 13-14 February 2018, was attended by over 20 policymakers working on migration and climate change from eight countries - the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Experts from other UN agencies and partner institutions, including GIZ, IFRC, ILO, OHCHR, UNESCAP, UNISDR, UNU-EHS and the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW Sydney also took part.

“The history of the Pacific is one of migration. Mobility has been driven by a search for greener pastures, access to education, health and employment. But an underlying feature that has always shaped these movements has been the surrounding natural environment,” said IOM Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, Dr. Nenette Motus.

The Pacific Islands are extremely vulnerable to climate change and face disproportionately high disaster risks. In addition to cyclones, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis causing disasters in the region, rising temperatures and sea levels, coastal erosion and salinity intrusion are also accelerating due to climate change.

“Rising sea levels are eroding the territories of Pacific Islands, while cyclones and floods are endangering local livelihoods and traditional ways of life,” said Dr. Motus.

As a result, diverse mobility patterns have emerged in the Pacific. They include evacuations and displacement in the context of sudden-onset disasters and pre-emptive migration or planned relocation in the face of slow-onset processes or recurrent sudden-onset events that have affected people over a long period of time.

"Climate change is one of the biggest threats to humanity," said Meleti Bainimarama, Permanent Secretary for Rural and Maritime Development, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services of Fiji, where three villages have already had to relocate in the face of rising sea levels. Based on this experience, the Government of Fiji is now developing planned relocation guidelines to inform future relocation, as a last resort measure.

“Displacement following cyclones Pam in 2015 and Winston in 2016 illustrates the high level of disaster risk and displacement risks faced by all countries in the Pacific region,” said Atle Solberg of the Platform on Disaster Displacement.

The two-day capacity building workshop, funded by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, offered regional policymakers the opportunity to strengthen their understanding of key issues around human mobility in the context of disasters and climate change and to discuss potential solutions at regional and national levels.

The workshop was organized as part of IOM’s capacity building programme on Migration, Environment and Climate Change, which has already benefited about 400 policymakers of 46 countries, and is based on IOM’s Training Manual on Migration, Environment and Climate Change. It is also part of IOM’s support to the State-led PDD and to the implementation of the Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda in the Pacific region.

IOM has been addressing the migration, environment and climate change nexus for more than 25 years on all fronts: conducting research, promoting policy coherence and development, building capacity of policymakers and operational implementation.

Learn more at: www.environmentalmigration.iom.int and www.disasterdisplacement.org.

For more information, please contact:
Dina Ionesco Tel: +41227179481 Email: dionesco@iom.int
Jorge Galindo Tel: +41227179205, Email: jgalindo@iom.int
Chirine El Labbane Tel: +41 79 542 18 09, Email: chirinee@unops.org

Language English Posted: Friday, February 16, 2018 - 14:39Image: Region-Country: FijiThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM organized a regional capacity building workshop on migration and climate change for eight countries - the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. © IOM

The Pacific Islands are extremely vulnerable to climate change and face disproportionately high disaster risks. © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Runs Business Skills Trainings for Nigerian Returnees from Libya

IOM - News - Ven, 02/16/2018 - 07:58

Lagos – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, conducted a four-day business skills training for 72 Nigerian migrants returning from Libya, nearly half of whom are young women. The training took place in Lagos from 12 to 15 February. Participants learned how to plan, launch and sustain their own businesses from IOM and its government and civil society partners.

The business skills trainings aim to help people get back on their feet in their communities of origin, and are part of the three-year European Union–IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration. The Initiative, funded by the EU and implemented by IOM, also offers in-kind reintegration assistance to help some of the returning Nigerian migrants start businesses like tailoring shops, beauty salons, and market kiosks at home.

The programme is important as the majority of Nigerian migrants who return from Libya say they travelled to the North African country in hopes of crossing the Mediterranean Sea into Italy and finding better job opportunities in Europe.

The Central Mediterranean Sea passage is one of the deadliest migration routes in the world: 2,834 migrants died at sea on the route between Libya and Italy in 2017 and 315 have perished since the start of 2018, according to IOM’s Missing Migrants Project. Travelling from West African countries, like Nigeria, through Niger’s desert to reach Libya and the sea is also risky as the route is rife with traffickers, smugglers, sexual abuse, and robbery.

“Many people are dead, including my friends who we started the journey with,” said Juliet Okochioma, one of the young Nigerians who attended the training. “Some are sick. Some are in prison [in Libya], without medication or food. I count myself lucky because God heard my prayers and gave me a second chance to be back home in one piece,” she added.

Juliet plans to use the business skills she learned at the training to launch her dream business: running her own beauty parlour in Lagos. The same dream took her on the deadly journey in hopes of earning enough money in Europe to return to Nigeria and open her business.

The trainings also serve as opportunities for returning migrants to meet one another and consider pooling their in-kind assistance, skills, and resources to open more sustainable businesses through collective projects

“We hope that after the training, we can all join hands in conducting different businesses as brothers and sisters, and also become ambassadors of hope to those who have lost hope in their lives,” said Osita Osemene, who led IOM’s training on behalf of Lift Above Poverty Organization, a civil society development organization based in Benin City.
More than 200 Nigerian migrants who returned from Libya have participated in business skills trainings since IOM and its partners started the workshops in December 2017. The trainings also offer Nigerian returnees an opportunity to meet and support one another – many suffered similar trauma on the journey and need to rebuild support systems in their local communities.

More than 6,300 Nigerians have returned home from Libya through the EU-IOM Joint initiative in the last 10 months. Business skills trainings will continue with the aim of reaching all Nigerian migrants who choose to return from Libya.

For more information, please contact Julia Burpee at IOM Nigeria, Tel: +234 906 228 2406, Email: jburpee@iom.int or Abrahm Tamrat, Tel: +234 906 228 4580, Email: tabrahm@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 16, 2018 - 14:38Image: Region-Country: NigeriaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationCapacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Nigeria reintegration team with some of the returnees from Libya during a business management skills training facilitated by IOM under the EUTF-IOM. © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Hundreds of Young Colombians to Participate in Employability, Digital Entrepreneurship Project

IOM - News - Ven, 02/16/2018 - 07:54

Bogota – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in collaboration with the Telefónica Foundation, the Citi Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the Employability and Digital Entrepreneurship Project (eeD) on 12 February.

The project aims to increase economic inclusion opportunities for 600 adolescents and young people in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) sector, and to accompany 360 others in the development of other vocations in the Colombian cities of Barranquilla, Buenaventura, Cali, Medellín, Pasto, and Tumaco. 

The project targets young people between ages 17 and 26, at risk of being linked to forms of urban violence and/or belonging to Afro-Colombian or indigenous communities. It will be developed over two years to promote participation in small and medium enterprises connecting these young people to the ICT labour market. 
Adolescents and youth between ages 14 and 28 in Colombia represent 3 per cent of the working-age population, according to the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE), and over the last decade have consistently experienced an unemployment rate above the national rate. 

“We believe in youth, in their entrepreneurial potential, in their creativity, in their ability to move the world, and we admire their ability to face challenges and seek opportunities. That is why we support training spaces like this one, and are convinced that education is the best value proposition. Now, it is imperative that we eliminate gender gaps, between urban and rural sectors, or gaps that the armed conflict has left us, among others,” said Fabián Hernández, CEO of Telefónica Colombia. 

“Employability and Digital Entrepreneurship is a project co-funded with resources from the Citi Foundation in the framework of the Pathways to Progress global initiative to build an entrepreneurial mentality, acquire skills for financial leadership, and for the beginning of their working life and entering the formal economy through a first job,”said Jimena Botero, Vice President of Public Affairs of Citi Colombia and the Andean Region.

Likewise, the Great Comprehensive Household Survey, carried out by DANE between September and November of 2017, indicates that, in Colombia, one in every six young people do not have a job: the youth employment rate is 15.4 per cent. Of the total unemployed young people, 44 per cent are men and 56 per cent women, with a marked difference between large cities and the rest of the country, especially those areas most affected by violence.

“Working with this population and offering them opportunities to build life projects away from such violence is essential for territorial peace building. This motivates the participation of two USAID programmes: Reintegration and Prevention of Recruitment (RPR) and Inclusion for Peace (IPA),” said Ana Durán, IOM Colombia Chief of Mission.

“This is an opportunity for prevention efforts and greater quality and relevance to help adolescents and young people develop and strengthen their capacities and generate well-being for themselves, their families and their communities,” Durán concluded.

For more information, please contact Karen Mora, IOM Colombia, Tel. + (57) 1 639 7777, Email: kmora@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Friday, February 16, 2018 - 14:37Image: Region-Country: ColombiaThemes: Labour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Dialogue with youth about opportunities away from violence. © IOM

IOM Colombia Chief of Mission Ana Durán makes opening remarks at the launch. © IOM

Leaders from partner organizations during the launching of the project. © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Finland Opens Dialogue on Preventing Exploitation of Seasonal Agricultural Workers

IOM - News - Ven, 02/16/2018 - 07:53

Helsinki – In summer, the woods and fields in Finland are so ripe with wild forest berries that seasonal migrant workers are needed for the harvest. IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is working with a multitude of interested parties in Finland to ensure that the rights of agricultural migrant workers are respected. On Monday (12/02) the organization brought the stakeholders together to find solutions and ways forward.

Representatives from unions and employer unions, the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri), the retail chains and the Regional State Administrative Agencies joined in the round table. The discussion focused on practical measures for preventing exploitation of seasonal migrant workers in agriculture, berry picking and fruit gardens.

“Many of the farms or employers are small family businesses, who do not have the resources to read long leaflets or instructions,” said Miika Ilomäki, executive director of the Fruit and Berry Farmers Union of Finland. “We need easy materials.”

IOM Finland has recognized this and already last summer produced a two-page-leaflet, directed at those employing berry and fruit pickers, with tips on how to recognize signs of human trafficking in their workers. It has raised a lot of interest at the level of the national unions and in the retail sector.

The number of seasonal workers coming to pick forest berries has hovered around 3,500 for many years, but the numbers dropped last year. Most of these workers come from Thailand. There have been some cases of human trafficking in the berry sector – in January, for instance, a man was sentenced to jail for trafficking 26 Thai berry pickers.

The forest berry industry has been taking steps to prevent exploitation and has introduced a voluntary contract to safeguard the migrants’ rights. The contract has been signed by most of the employers in the industry.

The Finnish law on seasonal migrant workers changed at the beginning of the year because of EU directives. The government agencies are expecting an influx of applications before summer. The number of seasonal migrant workers is usually around 6,000-7,000 yearly. These categories of migrant workers stay in the country for more than three months, and they need work contracts and temporary residence permits.

“We have received 200 applications so far,” said Ansa Mäntysola, Inspector at the Finnish Immigration Service.

Since the new law came in to force at the beginning of the year, there has been a clear rise in the number of recruitment agencies in Ukraine offering services to seasonal migrant workers to Finland. Ukraine is the country of origin for most seasonal agricultural migrant workers coming to Finland.

“The recruitment is the most vulnerable part of the process,” said Hannah Plumb, from the Labour and Human Development Department from IOM Headquarters. “Recruit as directly as you can.” Plumb presented IOM’s international initiatives on ethical recruitment (IRIS) and on Corporate Responsibility in Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking (CREST) at the meeting.

Leaflet on preventing exploitation of seasonal migrant workers (in Finnish):
http://iom.fi/sites/default/files/leaflets/IOM_Pikaopas_Kausity%C3%B6_FINAL_FI.pdf

IOM’s International Recruitment Integrity System
https://iris.iom.int/

IOM's Corporate Responsibility in Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking (CREST)
https://vietnam.iom.int/en/iom-crest-programme

Present regulations on working in Finland:
http://migri.fi/en/working-in-finland

For more information please contact: Jaana Sipilä at IOM Finland, Tel: +358 9 684 11522 Email: jsipila@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 16, 2018 - 14:36Image: Region-Country: FinlandThemes: Integrated Border ManagementLabour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Positive approach. IOM Finland brought together interested parties to explore partnerships to ensure the rights of seasonal migrant workers. © IOM

Hannah Plumb from IOM Headquarters presented IOM initiatives on ethical recruitment. © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Dominican Republic Launches First Migration Profile, with IOM Support

IOM - News - Ven, 02/16/2018 - 07:53

Santo Domingo – For every three Dominicans abroad, there is one immigrant in the Dominican Republic. This is one of the conclusions of the first Migration Profile of the Dominican Republic, launched yesterday (15/02) by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the National Institute of Migration of the Dominican Republic (INM).

The statistical data included in the profile shows that 524,632 of the 10 million inhabitants of that country are people born abroad. In total, 87.3 per cent of migrants residing in the Dominican Republic come from Haiti.

Among the main findings of the study is that immigration in the country has become more urban. In the 20th century, those who came from the countryside to the cities were Dominicans, while now those who arrive in the towns are immigrants.

Furthermore, it concludes that the Dominican population abroad continues to increase and that the descendants of the emigrants mark a new scenario for the Dominican diaspora. The contribution of these emigrants is reflected in the remittances reported by the Central Bank, which for 2016 exceeded USD 5.2 billion, and in 2017 rose to nearly USD 6 billion.

Jorge Baca, IOM’s Chief of Mission in the Dominican Republic, noted that “in analyzing the last 15 years, there are solid arguments to affirm that the Dominican Republic has new migration governance today.” According to the Migration Profile, this new governance began in 2002 with the criminalization of human trafficking and deepened since 2011 with the entry into force of new laws and regulations, as well as the creation of new institutions, among them, the National Migration Institute and the Specialized Procurator’s Office for Trafficking.

This governance has had unprecedented results, such as the regularization of 260,000 immigrants and the gathering of valuable information on migration issues through the Immigration National Survey.

The profile recommends continuing with institutional strengthening, guaranteeing the sustainability of the results of the new migration governance, and putting into practice instruments included in the regulatory framework to favour dignified, safe and regular migration. Also, it is suggested to consider the contributions of orderly labour migration and the role of Diasporas in the development of the country.

An essential challenge of the new governance is the measurement of results following the guidelines of the migration policy contemplated in the National Development Strategy to 2030, and in turn, integrating goals and indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals.

With this document, the Dominican Republic joins a group of over 80 countries that have carried out migration profiles with a methodology designed by IOM. This profile was assembled by a team of professionals formed by INM and IOM officials, and consultants linked to the academic sector. 

The report was carried out thanks to the support of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) of the US State Department.

Download the Migration Profile here (Spanish).

For more information please contact Alicia Sangro at IOM Dominican Republic, Tel: +809 688 8174,
Email: asangro@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 16, 2018 - 14:35Image: Region-Country: Dominican RepublicThemes: Migration ResearchDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM, Ghana Immigration Service Unveil Counter Smuggling National Action Plan

IOM - News - Ven, 02/16/2018 - 07:53

Accra – IOM in collaboration with the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) this week launched a new Counter Migrant Smuggling National Action Plan and Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) on Information Sharing and Regional Cooperation. The launch was part of a reflection event to conclude IOM’s counter migrant smuggling project Addressing Counter-Smuggling and Protection Gaps in Ghana, Benin and Togo: Strengthening National and Regional Mechanisms. The project is funded by the Government of Canada through its Anti-Crime and Capacity Building Programme (ACCBP).

The National Action Plan (NAP) is a five-year plan (2019-2023) aimed at introducing a whole-of-government response to the threat of migrant smuggling.  The 46-page document is structured into six pillars including:Improved Legislation, Stringent Law Enforcement, Public Awareness Creation, Improved Information Gathering & Sharing, Rights Protection of Smuggled Migrants and Regional Cooperation.

The SOPs on Information Sharing and Regional Cooperation were developed and adopted jointly by Benin, Ghana and Togo as part of the project. The document provides a formal, non-binding but pragmatic platform for the three participating countries to share information on counter smuggling activities and intelligence on smuggling networks and migrant movements.

The Deputy Comptroller-General of the Ghana Immigration Service (Operations and Command Post) and Chair of SC/TWG, Laud Affrifah, stated that “Information sharing is a major tool in the fight against transnational crimes. This kind of cooperation will enhance collaboration among the three countries in curbing the crime of migrant smuggling.”

IOM Ghana Chief of Mission, Sylvia Lopez-Ekra shared that “Both the NAP and the SoPs are major achievements. However, this is only the beginning of the work ahead. We need to ensure that there will be a solid and sustainable implementation of both documents. Our success will measure in how effective we will be at preventing the proliferation of those networks in the three targeted countries as well as in terms of the positive impact we will have in migrant protection.”

IOM’s counter migrant smuggling project was implemented in partnership with GIS, Ghana Revenue Authority – Customs Division, Ghana Police Service, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Attorney-General’s Department, Ghana Maritime Authority, Ghana Navy and Bureau of National Investigations.

The project which started in June 2016 and ended on 15 February 2018, has facilitated multi-country trainings on counter smuggling for land and maritime officials as well as Training of Trainers in Benin, Ghana and Togo. Equipment was also donated to support frontline officers’ important travel documents fraud detection work at land borders. 

For further information, please contact Daniel Tagoe at IOM Ghana, Tel: +233 302 742 930 Ext. 2408, Email: dtagoe@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 16, 2018 - 14:34Image: Region-Country: GhanaThemes: Capacity BuildingCounter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM, Salvadoran Government Present Protocol for Protection of Foreign Children and Adolescents

IOM - News - Ven, 02/16/2018 - 07:52

San Salvador – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the General Directorate of Migration (DGME) of El Salvador this week (14/02) presented the Protocol of Action and Coordination for the Care and Protection of Foreign Migrant Children and Adolescents Today. The protocol will allow the Salvadoran government to advance in the guarantee and fulfilment of the fundamental rights of this population present on Salvadoran territory.

The document details the necessary mechanisms and procedures for the assistance, care and return of this population and their families, based on profiles that address the particularities of each case. The protocol was designed within the framework of the Principle of Best Interest, which establishes that in all decisions that affect children and adolescents, including those who are migrants, their physical, spiritual, psychological, moral and social development is prioritized so as to achieve the full and harmonious development of their personality (established in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Law on the Comprehensive Protection of Children and Adolescents – LEPINA).

The official event was headed by the General Director of Migration, Héctor Rodríguez; IOM Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Jorge Peraza; DGME’s General Secretary, Helen Flamenco; and the Chief of Immigration Control, Herbert Hernández.

“With this protocol of action, we are contributing to the government’s efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goals through the application of planned and well-managed policies that facilitate migration and orderly, safe, regular and responsible mobility,” Peraza said.

The preparation of the Protocol was carried out within the framework of IOM’s Mesoamerica Program, financed by the Office of Population, Refugees and Migration of the Department of State of the United States of America.

The purpose of the Mesoamerica Program is to contribute to the development and implementation of strategies on regular, orderly and safe migration, which will allow adequate protection of the most vulnerable migrants in Mesoamerica.

For more information, please contact José Miguel Gómez, IOM El Salvador, Email: miggomez@iom.int or Alba Miriam Amaya, IOM El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Tel: +503 2521-0511, Email: aamaya@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Friday, February 16, 2018 - 14:33Image: Region-Country: El SalvadorThemes: Capacity BuildingMigrants RightsDefault: Multimedia: 

The event was headed by the General Director of Migration, Héctor Rodríguez (center); IOM Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Jorge Peraza (left) and DGME’s General Secretary, Helen Flamenco (right). © IOM

The Protocol launched allows the Salvadoran government to guarantee and fulfill the fundamental rights of underage migrants in El Salvador. © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Assists Survivors as Migrants Perish in Libya Truck Accident

IOM - News - Mer, 02/14/2018 - 21:49

Tripoli - At nearly 3:00am on 14 February, a truck accident occurred, leaving 19 people dead and 49 people injured near Bani Waleed in Libya. The migrants on board reported that 180 people were crammed into the truck's cargo containers. They also said that the smugglers' truck crashed when it drove into a large hole in the road; overloaded with people, it became unbalanced. Out of the total migrants involved, approximately 138 were Eritrean, while the remaining were Somali and Ethiopian.

The area where the incident took place was 60 kilometres south-east of Bani Waleed, a transit location on a much-used migration route through the country to the coast. The smugglers were transporting the group of migrants from As Saddadah to Tarhuna.

Of the 19 reported victims, four were children, one was an adult woman and 14 were adult men. The wounded are reportedly to include ten children, nine adult women and 30 men.

IOM staff living in the area went to the scene to see what assistance could be provided. They helped transport some of the injured migrants to the local hospital. Two IOM doctors travelled to the hospital to support the emergency medical response. Together with the hospital staff, they assessed the cases, four of which IOM organized to be transferred to Tripoli due to the serious nature of their head injuries. All four are in critical condition in intensive care units. IOM is supporting the hospitals where they there transferred to with medical supplies.

There are six more cases in Bani Waleed hospital requiring referral to Tripoli. All of them have multiple injuries and some serious fractures requiring immediate surgery. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is working on these transferals.

Many of the migrants, who were involved the accident are reported to have been taken by the smugglers to an unknown location.

"Our priority needs to be protecting these migrants and others throughout the country, while making migration through Libya safe and regular," said Othman Belbesi, IOM Libya Chief of Mission. "One death whether in the desert or at sea is one too many," said Belbesi.

According to IOM's Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) report last December, there were over 621,000 migrants recorded in Libya but the true figure is estimated to be over 700,000, with the majority coming from Egypt, Niger, and Chad. Many migrants in Libya have faced ill-treatment and exploitation. IOM’s top priorities continue to be saving migrant lives, reducing irregular and unsafe movements of people along the central Mediterranean route, breaking the grip of traffickers and smugglers, identifying vulnerable persons and persons at risk throughout the migration process and assisting them, and improving conditions for migrants stranded in Libya. IOM provides humanitarian support to migrants in Libya, while advocating for improved longer term assistance and protection for them and all groups in the country.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM Libya, Tel: +218910011492, Email: oheadon@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 04:35Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Human SmugglingHumanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

A survivor of the truck crash is treated in the hospital in Bani Waleed. Photo: Rabea Salim/IOM 2018 

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Massive Data Gaps Leave Refugee, Migrant and Displaced Children in Danger and Without Access to Basic Services

IOM - News - Mer, 02/14/2018 - 19:19

An estimated 28 million children were living in forced displacement in 2016, but the true figure is likely much higher

New York  – Gaps in data covering refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and internally displaced populations are endangering the lives and wellbeing of millions of children on the move, warned five UN and partner agencies today. In ‘A call to action: Protecting children on the move starts with better data’, UNICEF, UNHCR, IOM, Eurostat and OECD together show how crucial data are to understanding the patterns of global migration and developing policies to support vulnerable groups like children.

The Call to Action confirms alarming holes in the availability, reliability, timeliness and accessibility of data and evidence that are essential for understanding how migration and forcible displacement affect children and their families. For example:

  • There is recorded information on age for just 56 per cent of the refugee population under UNHCR’s mandate;
  • Only 20 per cent of countries or territories with data on conflict-related internally displaced persons (IDP) break it down by age;
  • Nearly a quarter of countries and territories do not have age disaggregated data on migrants, including 43 per cent of countries and territories in Africa; and
  • Lack of information on migrant and displaced children deprives the affected children of protection and services they need.

“Information gaps fundamentally undermine our ability to help children,” said Laurence Chandy, UNICEF Director for the Division of Data, Research and Policy. “Migrant children, particularly those who migrate alone, are often easy targets for those who would do them harm. We can’t keep children safe and provide them with lifesaving services, both in transit and at their destination, if we don’t know who they are, where they are or what they need. We urge Member States to fill these gaps with reliable disaggregated data and to improve cooperation so that data is shared and comparable.”

“Many refugee children have experienced or witnessed appalling violence and suffering in their countries of origin and sometimes also during their flight in search of protection and security. They need and deserve care and protection but in order to provide this, we need data on their identity and needs. In no area is coordination on data and strengthening capacity more important than for children, especially the most vulnerable,” said Volker Türk, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection.

“We need reliable and better data on child migrants to protect them and guarantee their best interests. Data disaggregation by age, sex and origin can inform policymakers of the real needs of child migrants. This will ensure that no child is left behind and that they are not exploited. All migrant children are entitled to care and protection regardless of their migratory status,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.

“Time is of the essence when it comes to integration into education,” said OECD Director for Employment Labour and Social Affairs Stefano Scarpetta. “Success or failure at this vulnerable age can have lifelong labour market consequences. Only with a comprehensive knowledge – backed up by appropriate data – can we identify and address the needs of these children, better protect them and build upon their skills and capabilities as they make their way through the school system and into the labour market.”

In many countries, available national data do not include information on migrants’ and refugees’ age, sex and origin, or if they travel unaccompanied or with their families. Differing criteria for age categories and for recoding data make disaggregation extremely challenging.

This makes it very difficult to estimate accurately how many children are on the move worldwide. Data on children moving undocumented across borders, those displaced or migrating internally, or children left behind by migrant parents, are even scarcer.

While much of global migration is positive, with children and their families moving voluntarily and safely, the experience for millions of children is neither voluntary nor safe, but fraught with risk and danger. Children who do not have access to safe and regular migration pathways often turn to irregular and dangerous routes, putting them at risk of violence, abuse and exploitation. Many children lose their lives taking perilous informal migration routes – drowned at sea or lost in the desert – but their deaths regularly go unreported and uncounted.

In 2016, over 12 million children around the world were living as refugees or asylum seekers, while an estimated 23 million children were living in internal displacement – 16 million as a result of conflict and 7 million due to natural disasters. Yet the true number of children driven from their homes remains unknown and is apt to be significantly higher than the estimate because of gaps in reporting and data.

In the absence of reliable data, the risks and vulnerabilities facing children on the move remain hidden and unaddressed. In some contexts, children who cross borders irregularly may be held in detention alongside adults or prevented from accessing services that are essential for their healthy development, including education and healthcare. Even in high income countries like, the number of refugee and migrant children out of school is unknown because it is not counted.

The need for better data collection and analysis are key features of the related but distinct Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees currently being developed for adoption in 2018. While there are ongoing efforts to strengthen data collection and analysis at both the global and country levels, far more needs to be done. As Member States work towards finalizing these two agreements, the five agencies and partners urge them to address the evidence gaps and include the rights, protection and wellbeing of children as central commitments in the final texts. If these gaps are not addressed, it will be impossible to implement and monitor the Compacts and the impact they could have for children on the move.

##########

Note to editors:

UNICEF, UNHCR, IOM, Eurostat and OECD urge Member States to address the data and evidence gaps pertaining to children on the move, and include the following child-specific considerations in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees:

Disaggregate data by age and sex;
Cover key issues relating to children affected by migration and displacement;
Make better use of existing data, and share it;
Coordinate data efforts within countries and across borders;
Make special efforts to collect and analyse data on children.

##########

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org.

Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Tidey, UNICEF New York, ctidey@unicef.org, +1 917 340 3017

Jorge Galindo, IOM HQ, jgalindo@iom.int, +41 22 7179205

Stylia Kampani, IOM GMDAC, skampani@iom.int , +49 3027877816

Spencer Wilson, OECD, spencer.wilson@oecd.org, +33 1 45 24 81 18

Language English Posted: Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 19:03Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Migration and YouthDefault: Multimedia: 

Massive data gaps leave refugee, migrant and displaced children in danger and without access to basic services

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Hosts Event to Mark World Radio Day

IOM - News - Mar, 02/13/2018 - 08:25

Geneva – To celebrate this year’s World Radio Day, the Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities (CDAC) Network is organizing an event today (13/02) to explore radio’s vital role in communicating with communities.

IOM, the UN Migration Agency will host the event at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

“Some people have argued that radio is a dying medium, but it’s only gotten more popular and will continue to be a powerful tool for community-based communications in and outside of humanitarian contexts,” said Leonard Doyle, Head of IOM’s Media and Communications Division, in his prepared remarks.

Titled Radio – A Beacon of Progress in Today’s Tech-Led Communication Landscape, the event consists of two sessions. The first will focus on the link between the use of radio and the health of disaster-affected communities. It will draw from scientific evidence gathered in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Philippines in 2013, when all radio and TV stations were off the air in Tacloban City, the “Ground Zero” area of the disaster. Karin Hugelius’ research project consisted of interviews with 400 survivors to assess the impact of the First Response Radio (FRR) and how this station helped the affected community.

The second session, Radio’s Vital Role for Communities on the Move and in Conflict, will discuss case studies where radio has played a vital role in situations of population movement. IOM will present the results of the “Aware Migrants” campaign and assess the use of radio as a platform for returning migrants to alert their peers about the dangers of irregular migration.

Further examples will be presented to show the role of radio in other countries, such as Somalia and the Central African Republic.

The event will conclude with a Q&A session on the future of disaster radio, and closing remarks by Marian Casey-Maslen, CDAC Network Executive Director.

CDAC Network is a growing platform of more than 30 humanitarian, media development, social innovation, technology, and telecommunication organizations dedicated to saving lives and making aid more effective through communication, information exchange and community engagement.

For more information please contact Jorge Galindo, IOM HQ, Tel: +41227179205, Email: jgalindo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 

Children broadcast at the UN Mission in South Sudan’s Radio Miraya. Photo: UN Photo/Isaac Billy

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM