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IOM Launches Migration, Environment and Climate Change Project in Namibia

IOM - News - Ven, 03/17/2017 - 10:33
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Namibia - IOM and Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) launched a project on migration, environment and climate change this week (14/03). The launch was followed the next day by a capacity building workshop on the relationship between migration, environment and climate change (MECC).

The project’s launch was attended by more than 40 participants from key governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, as well as by representatives of the wider UN family in Namibia.

Key speakers during the launch included the Environmental Commissioner, the Chair of the UN’s Emergency and Humanitarian Focal Points in Namibia on behalf of the United Nations Resident Coordinator, the Director of Border Management and Immigration in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration, the Director for Disaster Risk Management in the Office of the Prime Minister as well as Representatives from IOM Geneva, Pretoria and Windhoek.

Dr. Babagana Ahmadu, Chair of the UN’s Emergency and Humanitarian Focal Points, pointed out that environment and migration featured high on the agenda of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference and that the issue was addressed by several other international and national frameworks such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-203, a non-binding agreement that recognizes that the State has the primary role in reducing disaster risk.

Teofilus Nghitila, Namibia’s Environmental Commissioner added that in Namibia, the urban population makes up 50 per cent of the total population. This is not only due to the lack of economic opportunities in rural areas, but also to the fact that many people move to the cities following recurrent drought and floods. He also said the project comes at the right time, as it will help deepen understanding of the impact environmental challenges have on human mobility.

The capacity-building workshop sought to address the relationship between migration and environmental change, including climate change. It also served as a platform for the partners to discuss and share expertise on the realities and challenges of MECC, including how the evidence gap on the subject could be addressed.

Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean region have been adversely affected by climate change in recent years. In Namibia, the impact of the recent drought has made communities more vulnerable to food insecurity, putting the livelihoods of many families at risk and heightening the possibility of relocation to urban areas.

In Madagascar, many people were forced to move when their crops and livelihoods were destroyed by recurrent droughts in 2016, while recent floods in Mozambique caused the displacement of hundreds of people.

Similar capacity building workshops and research initiatives are underway in Madagascar, Mauritius and Mozambique. These initiatives are part of the wider IOM Development Fund (IDF) supported project Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Evidence for Policy in Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean, which aims to increase knowledge and awareness about the relationship between migration and environmental change in order to inform related policy and operational planning at both the regional and national level.

For further information, please contact Lilian Ambuso at IOM Namibia, Tel: +264 61 231 639, Email: lambuso@iom.int

Posted: Friday, March 17, 2017 - 17:29Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastNamibiaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM, Ghana Immigration Service Launch Training for Immigration Officers

IOM - News - Ven, 03/17/2017 - 10:28
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Ghana - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) launched this week (13/03) a nationwide training programme on the use of the newly developed GIS Legal Handbook. Thirteen trainings are being rolled out in 10 regions of the country between March and April 2017 for approximately 500 immigration officers.

The first of the five-day trainings began in the three northern regions of Ghana – the 3 Upper West, Upper East and Northern – and covers the constitution, immigration, security and investment-related laws, as well as relevant international protocols and conventions.

The GIS Legal Handbook, which is a compilation of all domestic and international legal frameworks relevant to the daily work of immigration officers, was developed under the Ghana Integrated Migration Approach (GIMMA) Project funded by the European Union. The aim of the Handbook and the trainings is to increase immigration officers’ knowledge of relevant legal frameworks, their interpretation and ultimately their implementation to effectively manage borders.

Ghana’s complex migratory trends – internal and international, regular and irregular – require GIS officers to be well versed in both national and international migration law. Immigration officers work with a myriad of national and international legal instruments and the Handbook provides them with an easy reference source for their day to day duties.

Many of the participants had never received legal training before and stated that the training has given them more confidence in dealing with legally difficult subjects and a better sense of how to identify potential issues.

The training module has been developed with structured sessions and practical exercises to aid trainers in effectively preparing participants on the usage of the Handbook. The development of the much-awaited Handbook, as well as the implementation of the training, was one of the priority needs identified in the GIS Strategic Plan 2010 - 2015.

For further information, please contact Kazumi Nakamura at IOM Ghana, Tel: +233 302 742 930, Email: knakamura@iom.int or Abigail Dabuoh at GIS, Email: abigaildabuoh@yahoo.com

Posted: Friday, March 17, 2017 - 17:16Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastGhanaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Director General Condemns Attack on Humanitarian Convoy in South Sudan

IOM - News - Gio, 03/16/2017 - 12:25
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Switzerland – IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing, today condemned an attack on a humanitarian convoy in South Sudan on 14 March, which resulted in the death of two people and left three others injured.

“I unequivocally condemn the attack on IOM staff, health workers and civilians, who were assaulted during a lifesaving humanitarian mission in Yirol East County, South Sudan,” said Ambassador Swing.

While a convoy was returning to Yirol from a field mission on 14 March, one of the vehicles was ambushed by unknown armed gunmen. Tragically, two people died of gunshot wounds. Among the injured was an IOM health officer who sustained a gunshot wound but is currently in a stable condition.

“This tragic attack on aid workers and civilians is appalling. The assault took place in an area of South Sudan in dire need of assistance due to a deadly outbreak of cholera. In a country overwhelmed by the huge lack of basic necessities due to conflict, famine and health epidemics, these types of attacks undoubtedly harm the ability of humanitarian partners to provide assistance to millions in need of lifesaving aid,” Ambassador Swing added.

The identity and motivation of the attackers remain unknown.

A joint IOM health and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) team of 12 had deployed to Yirol East County, in central South Sudan, on 17 February to provide assistance to communities affected by a cholera outbreak that began in early February, with more than 300 cases and 10 deaths reported to date.

IOM health staff were supporting four cholera treatment units in Yirol East County, working closely with health actors on the ground to ensure coordinated social mobilization activities. To mitigate the spread of cholera, IOM WASH staff also undertook borehole rehabilitation, hygiene promotion and distribution of hygiene supplies, including water purification tablets, reaching more than 25,000 people.

Across South Sudan, IOM is responding to the emergency needs of millions affected by the crisis that erupted in December 2013. Over 7.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance this year, including nearly 5 million facing severe food insecurity and 1.8 million displaced internally.

Amid an already difficult operating environment, insecurity and access constraints continually hinder the ability of IOM and other aid agencies to reach the most vulnerable in many parts of the country.

For further information, please contact Ashley McLaughlin at IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211 922 405 716, Email: amclaughlin@iom.int.   

Posted: Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 12:24Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastSouth SudanDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM, European Commission to Support Returnee Reintegration in Afghanistan

IOM - News - Mar, 03/14/2017 - 09:59
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Afghanistan - IOM has launched a four-year, EUR 18 million project with funding from the European Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) to support returnees and host communities across Afghanistan.

The project will help foster sustainable reintegration by promoting economic development in communities of high return, building the capacity of government bodies working on migration and providing post-arrival assistance for returnees. Communities in Kabul, Herat, Nangarhar, Balkh, Kandahar, Baghlan, Uruzgan and Laghman will be targeted.

“Our joint collaboration under this project marks a critical and much needed step towards providing longer-term, sustainable, income-generating solutions and livelihoods for returnees,” said Laurence Hart, IOM’s Chief of Mission and Special Envoy in Afghanistan, speaking at today’s signing event in Kabul.

Under the project, and working with a network of partners, IOM will complete a series of community development initiatives in areas of high return. The initiatives will include small-scale infrastructure and income-generating projects in a number of different sectors, including agricultural rehabilitation, irrigation and canal cleaning, rural development, handicrafts, and providing equipment and supplies for public institutions and commercial spaces such as markets.

These activities will be carried out in close cooperation with the local community, through the existing Community Development Councils.

IOM will also support 1,000 technical and vocational education and training initiatives and skills development activities in the target project sites, and provide financial assistance to approximately 40 existing micro/small businesses.

“Support for improving migration management in general, including in the area of return and reintegration, is included as an objective under EU development cooperation and the special measure that we implement in Afghanistan is a rapid reaction to an unprecedented challenge,” said Raffaella Iodice, Head of Unit in Charge of Migration at DG DEVCO.

In addition to increasing the sustainability of return and reintegration through community and economic development, the project will offer vital information to returnees and potential labour migrants through the establishment of Returnee Information Centres (RICs) in key locations.

The RICs will serve as a “one-stop shop” offering counselling and information on assistance for returnees as well as safe migration. Over the course of the project, IOM will work to build the capacity of the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation to the run RICs and transition them to government-run facilities.

Finally, the project will bolster the capacity of IOM’s existing post-arrival reception assistance for Afghans returning from Europe, providing funding to assist 2,000 returnees.

“Not only will this project have a positive impact on tens of thousands of Afghan returnees and high return communities, it will also serve as a valuable learning platform for creating successful return, reintegration and development interventions in the future,” said Hart.

For further information, please contact Kjeld Andersen at the Delegation of the European Union to Afghanistan, Tel: +93 794 701 449, Email: kjeld.andersen@ext.eeas.europa.eu or Matt Graydon at IOM Afghanistan, Tel: +93 729 229 129, Email:  mgraydon@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 16:52Image: Region-Country: AsiaAfghanistanDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM DG Visits Niger, Migrant Transit Centres

IOM - News - Mar, 03/14/2017 - 09:56
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Niger - On Saturday (11/3), IOM Director General William Lacy Swing began a three-day visit to Niger, where he met with local and regional authorities, and visited transit centres for migrants in the capital, Niamey, and the desert city of Agadez.

While in Niamey, Ambassador Swing met with Niger President Issoufou Mahamadou, Prime Minister Brigi Rafini, Minister of Interior Mohamed Bazoum, Spanish Minister of Interior Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez and French Minister of Interior Bruno Le Roux.  Ambassador Swing also consulted with the UN country team, the European Union (EU) delegation and ambassadors from EU member states.

In Agadez, Ambassador Swing met with Mayor Rhissa Feltou and Sultan Oumarou Ibrahim Oumarou. Others taking part in the visit included central and regional government officials and the ambassadors of the European Union, Mali, Senegal and the United States.

During his official meetings, Ambassador Swing noted: “Today’s worldwide anti-migrant reaction needs to change.”

“There is hope that we can create a shared sense of responsibility among everyone from countries of origin, destination and transit,” he said.

Ambassador Swing also visited IOM’s open information centres, where migrants returning from Libya, Algeria and other countries receive support, including water, food, shelter, medical and psychosocial assistance. Stay is voluntary at all of IOM’s five transit centres across Niger.

Many migrants also opt for assisted voluntary return from IOM. This often includes replacing missing travel documents and transportation back to their countries of origin. If migrants choose to return to their countries of origin, they may also benefit from reintegration assistance.

This process is funded by the European Union under the “Migration Resource and Response Mechanism” project.

After hearing some of the migrants’ painful testimonies, Ambassador Swing reassured them that IOM is doing everything possible to support them. “It’s a matter of dignity,” he told migrants whom he met at the centre. “They can take away everything you have, but not your dignity – never forget that,” he emphasized.

For further information, please contact Monica Chiriac at IOM Niger, Tel: +227 8931 8764, Email: mchiriac@iom.int.

Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 16:51Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastNigerDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 19,653, Deaths: 525

IOM - News - Mar, 03/14/2017 - 09:55
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Switzerland - IOM reports that 19,653 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 14 March, over 80 percent arriving in Italy and the rest in Spain and Greece. This compares with 152,701 through the first 73 days of 2016.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project reports that the number of Mediterranean deaths – 525 – exceed by 43 the total of 482 reported during the same period in 2016.

On Monday, Kelly Namia of IOM Athens reported that 2,810 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through Greece since the start of 2017, compared with 143,205 through this date in 2016. She reported one incident on Saturday (11/3) off Chios, where the Greek Coast Guard rescued 58 migrants.

Also on Monday Christine Petré of IOM Libya wrote that IOM’s team continues to sift through reports of violence against migrants across Libya’s coastal region. On Saturday (11/3), one body was retrieved in Subratah, bringing the total number of bodies recovered off Libya since 1 January to 148.

Deaths of Migrants & Refugees: 1 January 2016 - 14 March 2016 vs. 1 January - 12 March 2017

Region

2017

2016

Mediterranean

525

482

Europe

13

15

Middle East

10

32

North Africa

47

392

Horn of Africa

0

84

Sub-Saharan Africa

0

23

Southeast Asia

44

35

East Asia

0

0

US/Mexico

60

47

Central America

8

16

Caribbean

81

29

South America

0

10

Total

788

1,165

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic:
http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/170314_Mediterranean_Update.pdf

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 further information please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM Geneva, Tel: +41.79.103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Sabine Schneider at IOM Germany, Tel. +49 30 278 778 17 Email: sschneider@iom.int
IOM Greece: Daniel Esdras, Tel: +30 210 9912174, Email: iomathens@iom.int
or Kelly Namia, Tel: +30 210 9919040, +30 210 9912174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Abby Dwommoh, IOM Turkey, Tel. (Direct): +90 (0)312 454 3048, Mobile: +90 (533) 698 7285, Email: adwommoh@iom.int, or Mazen Aboulhosn, Tel: +9031245-51202, Email: maboulhosn@iom.int
IOM Libya: Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int  or Christine Petré, Tel. (Direct):  +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui at IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int

For information or interview requests in French:
Florence Kim, OIM Genève, Tel: +41 79 103 03 42, Email: fkim@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, OIM Italie, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 16:50Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaSwitzerlandDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Aids Displaced Families Fleeing Conflict in Al Mokha, Yemen

IOM - News - Mar, 03/14/2017 - 09:55
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Yemen - Escalating violence in the city of Al Mokha continues to cause mass displacement. Al Mokha is a strategic port city in Taiz governorate, which is one of Yemen’s most brutal conflict zones and currently hosts approximately 273,780 internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Last month, displacement from Al Mokha spiked as fighting intensified. IOM activated its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) in Al Mokha immediately after the clashes erupted. So far, IOM has tracked a total of 34,920 displaced individuals from Al Mokha into neighbouring areas.

IOM has responded by distributing a total of 1,200 core relief items, including mattresses, blankets, sleeping mats, kitchen sets and water buckets, to some 8,400 displaced people in Al Ma’afir, Dhubab, Jabal Habashi, and Al Mudhaffar. It also distributed 900 hygiene kits, containing hand soap, washing powder, jerry cans, sanitary pads, water jugs, toothpaste and toothbrushes.

“IOM is looking at faster interventions to provide a better humanitarian response to populations affected by the ongoing conflict; this is critical for hundreds of thousands of Yemenis today,” said IOM Yemen Chief of Mission Laurent De Boeck.

“We are expanding our operations through strategic partnerships with international and local organizations, and have moved towards more decentralized hubs within the country, enabling quicker decision-making and closer coordination with beneficiaries,” he added.

Through 2016, and despite restricted access to Taiz, IOM successfully reached 23,376 individuals, providing them with shelter and core relief support. It also launched a series of lifesaving water and sanitation projects, which included trucking water to vital health facilities and IDP sites, rehabilitation of water networks, and the provision of new water pumps to help over 56,000 displaced people affected by the conflict in the governorate.

IOM Yemen is seeking additional financial support to expand its operations and to respond to the needs of the most affected vulnerable populations throughout the country. Please see IOM’s Yemen Appeal and further details here.

For further information, please contact Saba Malme at IOM Yemen, Tel: + 967 736 800 329, Email: smalme@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 16:49Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastYemenDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Backs Syrian Small Business Development in Turkey

IOM - News - Mar, 03/14/2017 - 09:54
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Turkey - Some 300 Syrians are starting up small businesses in Turkey with the help of a unique IOM in-kind grants project. The In-Kind Grants (IKG) programme was launched this month to distribute professional toolkits to Syrian refugees. 

“This project gives Syrians the opportunity to provide for their families and reduce dependency on humanitarian assistance,” said Lado Gvilava, IOM Turkey Chief of Mission. 

“One of the most common themes among the refugees I meet is that they want the opportunity to earn a decent living and build a future again. This is one of the major reasons why we see so many refugees making the dangerous journey across the sea to Europe,” he added. 

The new programme provides a steady income for Syrian refugees living in Turkey, increasing their resilience and decreasing their dependence on humanitarian aid. The toolkits will be distributed to 300 Syrian heads of household and are projected to benefit at least 1,500 Syrians in Turkey.

“In times of crisis, the idea of heads of household may extend well beyond the nuclear family. As we are distributing these toolkits, we have found that recipients intend to support far more than his or her immediate family. So these toolkits have the potential to support far more people than originally intended,” said IOM Project Officer Jamil Awan.

Through March, IOM will distribute 28 different IKG toolkits, each tailored specifically to fit the needs of a particular profession. The two most commonly distributed toolkits are for tailors and welders. Programme staff discussed previous skills background, household size and monthly income with potential beneficiaries. 

After initial interviews, IOM worked with beneficiaries to create a viable business development plan targeting the market in Turkey’s Sanliurfa, Hatay and Gaziantep provinces.  The 300 people considered to have the most viable business plans were selected to participate in the initial pilot project.

Fifty-year-old Wahda received a tailoring toolkit. Since her husband’s death ten years ago, she has been the sole provider for her five children and worked as a professional tailor in Syria.

“For the last few months, I had been working in a sewing workshop here in Turkey, but the income was barely enough for the rent, let alone for food for all of us,” says Wahda.  “Now, I have my own sewing machine and everything I need to work from home.  In the same amount of time, I can probably make four times what I could before.”

The protracted crisis in Syria has left Turkey hosting over 2.9 million Syrians. In January 2016, Turkey passed the Regulation on Work Permit of International Protection Applicants and International Protection Status Holders, giving millions of Syrians living under temporary protection in Turkey the possibility to access the labour market.

This legislative change led to the subsequent shift to resilience-building programmes and IOM’s April 2016 launch of its Support to the Livelihoods and Resilience of Refugees pilot livelihoods project, funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).

For further information, please contact Abby Dwommoh at IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 312 454 3048, Email: MediaIOMTurkey@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 16:48Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaTurkeyDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Brings Safe Drinking Water to Displaced People in Aburoc, South Sudan

IOM - News - Mar, 03/14/2017 - 09:50
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South Sudan - IOM is now providing safe drinking water to over 24,300 vulnerable people in Aburoc, Upper Nile, South Sudan. This includes an estimated 17,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), who fled the fighting in Wau Shilluk in late January, leaving their homes with few belongings and placing additional strain on the already limited resources of the host community.

An IOM emergency preparedness and response team deployed to Aburoc in Fashoda County on 7 March to begin a water trucking operation to provide desperately needed clean water to IDPs and the host community.

“Before the operation began, IDPs were accessing a limited quantity of water, below survival needs, and most of them were relying on shallow wells with dirty water that dried up within two to three days,” explains Antonio Torres, IOM Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Programme Coordinator. “Water trucking is providing immediate relief to populations in desperate need,” he added.

During an assessment mission in late February, displaced people indicated that they were exhausted, having walked long distances from Wau Shilluk to Kodok and on to Aburoc in search of safety, water and food. Partner agencies have estimated that approximately 85 percent of the displaced population in Aburoc are female-headed households.

The Logistics Cluster, managed by the World Food Programme, deployed 7 metric tons of supplies, including inputs to develop a surface water treatment system (SWAT), to Aburoc on 4 March. The supplies also included water bladders to enable immediate water trucking, which began within days.

Access to clean water will help prevent the spread of water-borne diseases, such as cholera, which are particularly hazardous among a community experiencing weakened health conditions due to displacement and lack of services.

The fighting in Wau Shilluk in late January forced IOM to halt its biometric registration exercise for the area. The majority of the civilian population, estimated to be approximately 24,000 people, fled Wau Shilluk, mainly to Kodok and Aburoc. An unknown number remain in remote areas surrounding Wau Shilluk.

The emergency operation in Aburoc is supported by a grant from USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) Rapid Response Fund, which is currently supporting 11 relief operations across the country to provide much-needed health, nutrition, protection and WASH assistance.

Vulnerable populations in Fashoda County are facing Crisis-level (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification 3 on a scale of 1 to 5) food insecurity, which is considered severe by food security experts.

Across South Sudan, an estimated 5 million people are facing severe food insecurity due to the protracted crisis, with approximately 100,000 facing famine conditions in Unity state, and another 1 million at risk of famine without sustained humanitarian assistance.

For further information, please contact Ashley McLaughlin at IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211 922 405 716, Email: amclaughlin@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 16:47Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastSouth SudanDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Facilitates Study Visit to Germany for Egyptian Officials

IOM - News - Mar, 03/14/2017 - 09:50
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Egypt - IOM facilitated a two-day (13-14/3) study visit to Berlin, Germany, for seven Egyptian government officials. The objective was to help them to better mainstream migration data into national development plans.

The delegation met with researchers at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) and the German authorities to discuss the importance of migration data collection, sharing and analysis to inform policy development.

The group included representatives from the Central Administration for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), the Ministry of Manpower, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

GMDAC Director Dr. Frank Laczko noted the importance of mainstreaming migration data into national development data plans and its role in the implementation of well-managed migration policies. He elaborated on GMDAC’s contribution to the monitoring of migration-related targets within the Sustainable Development Goals framework, in particular Target 10.7 which focuses on countries’ need to implement planned and well-managed migration policies, but also in regards to the targets relating to health, poverty and women.

During the visit, the Egyptian officials also met with representatives of the German Federal Office of Statistics and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. They also learnt about how migration data is collected and analysed to inform effective labour migration policies in Germany.

“This study visit complements a series of ongoing activities which aim to advance the efforts of the Government of Egypt to develop and implement evidence-based policies on migration, with a particular focus on human mobility,” said Teuta Grazhdani, Head of Labour Mobility and Human Development at IOM Egypt.

The visit addressed the Egyptian government’s priorities as outlined in the National Strategy on Combating Irregular Migration for 2016-2026 and the Action Plan on Strengthening International Cooperation and Coordination and Building the Human, Institutional and Information Capacity of Relevant Stakeholders on Labour Migration and Human Mobility to address data gaps on key migration policy issues.

IOM’s support in building the capacity of CAPMAS on migration data analysis and management complements IOM’s contribution to the Global Compact on Migration (GCM).  It will be underpinned by dissemination of migration data and statistics to inform evidence-based policies in Egypt.

For further information, please contact Teuta Grazhdani at IOM Egypt. Tel: +202-27365140, Email: iomegypt@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 16:46Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastEgyptDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Provides Transport, Access to Aid for Eritrean Refugees in Ethiopia

IOM - News - Mar, 03/14/2017 - 09:49
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Ethiopia - IOM has begun providing emergency transportation assistance for Eritrean refugees to access humanitarian services in refugee camps in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia. A recent spike at the beginning of 2017 saw over 4,500 refugees crossing the Eritrea-Ethiopia border and in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

In Endabaguna reception centre, located 20 kilometres west of Shire, refugees are being registered by the Administration of Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) and the UN refugee agency UNHCR. Hosting over 1,000 refugees, the Endabaguna reception centre is currently operating at three times its capacity. Decongesting the overcrowded centre is crucial to avoid exposing the refugees to various health and protection risks.

According to UNHCR registration data, 39 percent of new arrivals are children, of whom 14 percent were identified as unaccompanied or separated. ARRA and UNHCR have procedures to reunite the unaccompanied and separated children with their families but the process is often lengthy, resulting in children remaining in the screening centre for extended periods of time.

Based on an urgent request from ARRA, IOM began providing emergency transportation assistance from 1 March to decongest Endabaguna and help refugees to safely reach the camps in Tigray. With the spike in new arrivals, ARRA’s logistical capacity was fully stretched to provide transport both from concentrated points along the 1,000 km border to Endabaguna and from there to camps.

Funding from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) enabled IOM to step in and move a total of 897 refugees to date to Hitsats, Adi Harush, Mai-Ani and Shimelba refugee camps.

Benium, 27, a skilled machinist, fled Asmara, Eritrea, to escape being forced into the military. He arrived in Ethiopia on foot, exhausted and in constant fear for his safety. “There were many times when I did not think I would make it. I did not know that there would be transportation to the (Adi Harush) refugee camp and I am glad to finally be safe,” he said.

To ensure safe and orderly movements, IOM conducts pre-departure medical screening to ensure refugees are fit for travel. Registered nurses escort vulnerable refugees, including pregnant women and people with disabilities.

People who are found to be unfit to travel or require additional medical follow up on arrival in camp are referred to existing health services provided by ARRA. On arrival, refugees are provided with a camp orientation and receive basic non-food items and food. They then meet with an IOM social worker to discuss their situation and the risks of further irregular migration.

“With no foreseeable end to the flow of refugees from Eritrea, ensuring safe and orderly migration for individuals to access critical and lifesaving assistance in refugee camps must be made a priority,” said Ashenafi Tefera, IOM’s Senior Operations Assistant in Shire.

As 150–200 refugees arrive daily at the Endabaguna screening centre, IOM will continue to work in close coordination with ARRA, UNHCR and partners to ensure refugees are supported with transport to safely reach the refugee camps.

For further information, please contact Ashenafi Tefera at IOM Ethiopia. Tel: +251.966.216.611, Email: atefera@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 16:45Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastEthiopiaDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Trains Madagascar Officials on Border Management

IOM - News - Mar, 03/14/2017 - 09:49
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Madagascar - IOM, in cooperation with the Directorate for Intelligence, Immigration and Emigration Control of Madagascar’s Ministry of Public Security, last week held a three-day awareness raising workshop on concepts and practices of integrated border management.

Border management remains a crucial issue in Madagascar, a country still recovering from a five-year political crisis (2009 - 2014) that significantly degraded the capacity of the State to police its borders. With more than 5,000 km of coastline and its strategic location across the Mozambique Channel in the western Indian Ocean, the porosity of borders has been conducive to transnational and national criminal and illegal activities.

The workshop is part of an 18-month joint UN initiative that seeks to support security sector reform in Madagascar. Under the initiative, funded by the UN Peace Building Fund (PBF), which brings together IOM, UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA and OHCHR, IOM is leading the implementation of a multi-faceted border management component.

“In an increasingly mobile world, efficient border and immigration management policies and structures, supported by coordinated risk assessment, and by professional and well trained border and immigration officers, are the cornerstones to secure borders that enable safe and orderly migration,” said IOM Madagascar Head of Office Daniel Silva y Poveda.

Participants in the workshop included representatives from all the key governmental organisations working on border management, including the Ministry of Public Security, the Malagasy Customs, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Transportation, the Gendarmerie, and the Prime Minister’s Office.

The programme was designed to improve their understanding of the significance of integrated border management and highlighted the need for interconnectivity and complementarity between departments.

As the UN Migration Agency, IOM is increasingly called upon by States to assist in addressing complex border management challenges. Its Immigration and Border Management (IBM) portfolio comprises some 200 projects, involving several hundred predominantly field-based staff.

For further information, please contact Daniel Silva y Poveda at IOM Madagascar, Tel: +261.32565 4954, Email: dsilva@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 16:44Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastMadagascarDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 19,567, Deaths: 521

IOM - News - Ven, 03/10/2017 - 10:55
Language English

Switzerland - IOM reports that 19,567 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 8 March, over 80 percent arriving in Italy and the rest in Spain and Greece. This compares with 143,544 through the first 68 days of 2016. 

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project reports the same number of Mediterranean deaths – 521 – as were reported on Tuesday (7/3). The total of 521 does not include three deaths on Wednesday that were reported on Friday morning (10/03) in the Libyan coastal city of Al Khums. These deaths so far this year compare with 471 during the same period in 2016.   

Rome spokesman Flavio Di Giacomo on Thursday supplied recent figures indicating that through February 28, most of nearly 13,500 migrants leaving Libya by sea during 2017’s initial two months came from just four countries – Guinea, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and Bangladesh – which combined accounted for 6,727 migrants rescued at sea. Other countries showing a growing presence on this route were Morocco, Iraq and Cameroon (see chart, below).

 

Arrivals by sea to Italy - Main Countries of Origin
Total 2017/2016 Comparison
(Source: Italian Ministry of Interior)

Main Countries of Origin

January/February 2017

January/February 2016

Guinea

2,092

763

Nigeria

1,687

1,618

Cote d’Ivoire

1,645

734

Bangladesh

1,303

N.A.

Gambia

1,244

1,402

Sénégal

1,215

899

Morocco

977

494

Mali

645

793

Iraq

275

N.A.

Cameroon

258

252

Tot. All Countries of Origin

13,439

5,273

While there has been an increase in arrivals of migrants coming from Western African countries, Di Giacomo said that 2017 arrivals from Bangladesh, at 1,303 migrants (almost entirely male), is a significant increase. This trend was also apparent last year, he added, when Italian authorities recorded 8,131 Bangladeshi arrivals, up from 4,386 in 2014 and 5,040 in 2015.

“In recent weeks IOM field staff have talked to Bangladeshi migrants disembarking at landing points in Sicily and Apulia,” noted Federico Soda, Director of IOM’s Coordination Office for the Mediterranean in Rome. “Some of them said that they had their trip to Libya organized by an ‘agency’ that provided them with a working visa at a cost of USD 3,000 – 4,000. From Bangladesh, they first travelled to Dubai and Turkey, and finally reached Libya by plane. At the airport, an ‘employer’ met them and took their documents. Many of them lived in Libya for a year and a half before crossing the Mediterranean to Italy.”

“Others had been living in Libya for up to four years. They witnessed the same recruiting tactics with a slight difference: victims departed from Bangladesh and travelled through Turkey before eventually reaching Libya by plane. In general, to reach Europe, Bangladeshi labour migrants have to rely on agents who organize their travel from Dhaka,” he added.

According to information gathered by IOM, Bangladeshi migrants pay up to USD 10,000 to reach Libya. The price does not include the journey from Libya to Italy, which they reported to IOM costs approximately USD 700. IOM helped 27 Bangladeshis to voluntarily return to their country this week, flying from Libya to Dhaka on a commercial flight. According to Bangladeshi media, these individuals – all rescued at sea – had been brought back to Libya by Libyan Coast Guard vessels and spent months in detention before IOM could facilitate their repatriation.

Also on Thursday, Christine Petré of IOM Libya wrote that IOM’s team continues to sift through reports of violence against migrants across Libya’s coastal region. Details of reports from Subratah of 22 migrants killed either in a shoot-out between rival smuggling gangs or in a confrontation between the migrants and smugglers remain unclear and contradictory. IOM has not been able to speak to any survivors who have been able to offer details on why or how the discharge of fire occurred but is trying to learn more to gain clarity of the events.

IOM Libya learned this week of a counter narrative to this tragedy. On Tuesday (7/3) bodies of 11 African migrants were found by locals from Tellil, who were traveling on a road headed to the coast. These witnesses alerted local police station in the area, but when they came back with police the bodies had gone. Later 15 bodies - including one of an infant - were discovered in a mass grave in the village of Enneandha. All the adults were male. Gunshots were the cause of death of all 15 victims. It is still not known if these victims are from the Subratah incident, or if this is a separate event.  

Ms. Petré also added information to reports IOM released earlier this month on over one hundred bodies found buried near the town of Bani Walid over the past three months. “Bodies are buried without their handlers identifying neither the identities nor nationalities. Many are undocumented as it is not uncommon that bodies are found along the desert road. Their deaths are sometimes related to falling from the trucks that carry them towards the coast. Migrants who fall off the trucks and get lost in the desert are not likely to survive. Many of them come from African countries. 

 

Deaths of Migrants and Refugees: 1 Jan. 2016 - 9 Mar. 2016 vs. 1 Jan. - 9 Mar. 2017

Jan 1-March 9

2017

2016

Mediterranean

521

471

Europe

13

11

Middle East

10

29

North Africa

47

389

Horn of Africa

0

83

Sub-Saharan Africa

0

23

Southeast Asia

44

35

East Asia

0

0

US/Mexico

60

46

Central America

8

13

Caribbean

81

29

South America

0

10

Total

784

1,139

Meanwhile in Greece, the Hellenic Coast Guard rescued 113 migrants and transferred them to Patra. Authorities reported on Tuesday (7/3) that a vessel carrying the migrants (109 Pakistanis, 3 Syrians, 1 Indian – no women or children) had first been sighted in waters 32 miles west of Paxoi.

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic:
http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/170310_Mediterranean_Update.pdf

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 further information please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM Geneva, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Sabine Schneider at IOM Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 17 Email: sschneider@iom.int
IOM Greece: Daniel Esdras, Tel: +30 210 9912174, Email: iomathens@iom.int or Kelly Namia, Tel: +30 210 9919040, +30 210 9912174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Abby Dwommoh, IOM Turkey, Tel. (Direct): +90 (0)312 454 3048, Mobile: +90 (533) 698 7285, Email: adwommoh@iom.int  or Mazen Aboulhosn, Tel: +9031245-51202, Email: maboulhosn@iom.int
IOM Libya: Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int  or Christine Petré, Tel. (Direct):  +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui at IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int

For information or interview requests in French:
Florence Kim, OIM Genève, Tel: +41 79 103 03 42, Email: fkim@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, OIM Italie, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int

Posted: Friday, March 10, 2017 - 17:50Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaSwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM, EU Strengthen Ties on Global Migration at Senior Officials Meeting

IOM - News - Ven, 03/10/2017 - 10:50
Language English

Belgium - Senior officials from the European Union (EU) and IOM met in Brussels yesterday (9/03) to further strengthen cooperation on addressing the challenges and the opportunities related to global migration governance.

The annual strategic meeting, known as “The Senior Officials Meeting,” was hosted by European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.

“There is no doubt that today migration is one of the mega-trends that define our century. In Brussels, for example, more than half of the population was born in a foreign country. Building walls and fences is not only against our common humanity, it is also a bad policy,” said Commissioner Stylianides.

IOM Director General William Lacy Swing and Deputy Director General Laura Thompson took part in the high-level dialogue – the fourth of its kind – together with other senior officials from the European Commission (DG HOME, DG DEVCO, DG NEAR and DG ECHO), the European External Action Service. Officials from IOM’s Geneva Headquarters and the regional office in Brussels also attended. 

Ambassador Swing welcomed the deepening of the strategic dialogue between IOM and the EU since the signing of the IOM-EU Strategic Cooperation Framework in 2012, which has led to more regular channels of cooperation, discussion and joint planning to respond to the mounting migration and mobility challenges of 21st century migration.

“The EU and IOM share the view that no country can effectively address migration alone, and that all countries, international organizations, civil society and local authorities need to work together to make a comprehensive, coherent and sustainable European migration policy a reality,” he said.

This year’s EU-IOM meeting takes place at a time where the scale and complexity of migration challenges facing Europe and the world continue to challenge a collective response at every level.

The EU and its Member States, as well as international partners, have been called upon to respond simultaneously to both the root causes and the consequences of increasing human mobility, multiple complex emergencies, and persistent economic challenges. Demographic decline, a changing climate, and a dangerous, migration-averse political climate continue to characterize the prevailing global situation.

Discussions at this year’s meeting focused on strategic and operational approaches to addressing global migration and forced displacement challenges, in particular, how to work towards a sustainable and coherent approach to migrant protection, voluntary return, and reintegration.

Concrete implementation of recent global policy developments such as the 2016 New York Declaration for refugees and migrants and the Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration were discussed in connection with the European Partnership Framework with Third Countries, the Joint Valletta Action Plan, and the EU's new approach to foster self-reliance of forcibly displaced populations and to support their hosts.

The EU and the IOM agreed on further stepping up cooperation along the Central Mediterranean route, particularly in Libya, in order to ensure protection for those in need and more efficient migration management adhering to human rights and international standards. The parties also discussed how IOM can continue playing an important role in the implementation of the Migration Partnership Framework, with a number of priority countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The EU and its Member States remain one of the largest contributors to IOM's budget with more than 540 projects contracted in 2015 and 2016 with a total value of EUR 890 million. Half of the funding comes from the European Commission services. From 2014 to 2016, IOM has received on average around EUR 51 million in EU humanitarian aid per year.

Ahead of the meeting, IOM published the second edition of its partnership report showcasing its global cooperation with the EU on migration and mobility.  The new report captures the main features and tangible results of the IOM-EU partnership from 2015 to 2016 with a focus on joint efforts in implementing the Joint Valletta Action Plan, as well as IOM’s engagement with the EU Trust Fund for Africa.

IOM-EU Cooperation on Migration and Mobility: Addressing the Valletta Summit Priorities Together examines how IOM and the EU are working together across the five priority domains agreed at the Valletta Summit in 2015: development benefits of migration and addressing root causes; legal migration and mobility, protection and asylum; prevention of and fight against irregular migration, migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings; and return, readmission and reintegration.

Download the report here: http://eea.iom.int/images/Download/IOM-EU%20Cooperation%20Booklet%202015...    

For further information please contact IOM’s Regional Office in Brussels. Anna Eva Radicetti, Tel: +32 2 287 71 10, Email: aeradicetti@iom.int or Melissa Julian Tel: +32 2 287 71 33, Email: mjulian@iom.int.

Posted: Friday, March 10, 2017 - 17:48Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaBelgiumThemes: OthersDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Shelters, Winter Supplies Reach 1,100 Vulnerable Afghan Returnee Families in Nangarhar

IOM - News - Ven, 03/10/2017 - 10:46
Language English

Afghanistan - During the first week of March 2017, IOM delivered shelter and winter supplies to 1,112 vulnerable Afghan families who returned to Nangarhar province from Pakistan.

Since the beginning of 2016, nearly 260,000 undocumented Afghans have returned from Pakistan. Over 70 percent of them have settled in Nangarhar province, both in the provincial capital Jalalabad and in rural districts.

Many of the returnees have lived outside of Afghanistan for more than 20 years, or were born in Pakistan as part of the undocumented Afghan community there. The returnees face challenges as they reintegrate into communities contending with conflict and record levels of displacement.

IOM staff visited returnee families in these areas in the weeks leading up to the distribution, and found that many needed shelters and supplies for cold weather. A winter kit consisting of blankets, a heater and a gas cylinder, as well as a shelter with a tarpaulin, were distributed to the families.

“These are items that should really benefit returnees living in very difficult situations,” said Ikramullah Wahidy, IOM Cross-Border Return and Reintegration Coordinator in Nangarhar.

Like many returnees, Abdul Wahad was born in Pakistan and has struggled to restart his life after returning to Afghanistan. Although he is only 30 years old, he wears a brace and has to frequently sit and rest due to a recent back injury.

“I was a tailor in Pakistan and made a good living, but one day I fell off the roof while working on my house,” he says. “Now I can’t work much and am dependent on my brother. The support today will help me a lot, since I don’t even have a blanket.”

While returns from Pakistan have declined since the peak in 2016, previous surges in returns have been unpredictable and an estimated 1 million undocumented Afghans still remain in Pakistan. IOM is scaling up its operations at the border in preparation for further returns, and is working with partners to develop sustainable solutions for reintegration.

Funding for the distribution of the winter kits was provided by the governments of the Czech Republic, Germany, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland.

A second round of distributions is planned for a further 600 returnee families in Kabul, Laghman and Kunar, starting on March 12th.

For further information, please contact Matt Graydon at IOM Afghanistan. Tel. +93 729 229 129, Email: mgraydon@iom.int

Posted: Friday, March 10, 2017 - 17:44Image: Region-Country: AsiaAfghanistanThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Japan Donates USD 6.7 Million to Aid Displaced Iraqis: IOM

IOM - News - Ven, 03/10/2017 - 10:43
Language English

Iraq - In the midst of ongoing operations in Mosul, the Government of Japan is providing USD 6.7 million to IOM to support its humanitarian response to displacement in Iraq.

Over a one-year period, this contribution will support IOM to assist internally displaced Iraqis, as well as returnees and host community members.

The project will fund two components of the emergency response efforts: shelter support to maintain and upgrade emergency shelter sites and critical arrangements (unfinished schools and religious buildings, among others) to safely house new internally displaced persons (IDPs); and provision of emergency seasonal non-food items (NFI) to meet the immediate needs of families fleeing from conflict.

In areas retaken by the Iraqi government, the project will contribute to promoting community stabilization through several initiatives, including:

  • Providing 100 low-cost houses with infrastructure.
  • Implementing six community infrastructure rehabilitation projects (also called Quick Impact Projects), including the rehabilitation of schools and health centres, in response to the communities’ expressed needs.
  • Providing training to community members and law enforcement officials on community policing principles.
  • Carrying out a detailed assessment, through IOM Iraq’s Displacement Tracking Matrix, on return movements to retaken areas to inform programmatic decision-making and benefit the wider humanitarian community.

IOM has identified the need for comprehensive community recovery packages targeting areas of return, and is committed to respond to the urgent needs of returnees. IOM’s community stabilization initiatives respond to infrastructure damage in retaken areas with urgently needed rehabilitation projects. In addition, the project will continue supporting its successful eye care health activities for vulnerable communities.

In the previous round of the IOM Iraq’s Japan-funded programme from May 2016 to February 2017, more than 5,500 displaced children received vision screenings, and more than 1,000 received full eye examinations and prescription glasses.

“The contribution of the Government of Japan has enabled IOM to support thousands of displaced Iraqis with emergency assistance and livelihoods,” said IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss. “We are pleased to continue this important partnership, in coordination with the Government of Iraq and humanitarian partners, to improve conditions for those who are still living in displacement as well as for those facing the challenge of returning home in retaken areas,” he added.

Tiba, a 7-year-old displaced girl from Mosul, who now lives in Erbil, said: “I am very comfortable with the glasses. I wanted the frame to be pink. I am happy now that I can read, write and watch TV with them. I thank Japan for the eyeglasses. My family is displaced now, but I hope we can return to Mosul one day.”

Over three million Iraqis continue to be displaced across Iraq since January 2014. Due to Mosul military operations, which began in mid-October 2016, an additional 283,000 Iraqis have been displaced (cumulative); more than 215,000 are currently displaced; and more than 68,000 have returned home. More than 57,000 have been displaced from West Mosul in the past two weeks.

The latest DTM Emergency Tracking figures on displacement from Mosul operations are available at: http://iraqdtm.iom.int/EmergencyTracking.aspx

Please click to download the latest:

IOM Iraq DTM Mosul Operations - Factsheet (March 9):

http://iraqdtm.iom.int/Downloads/DTM%20Emergency%20Tracking/Mosul%20Cris...

IOM Iraq DTM Mosul Operations – Data Snapshot (March 9): http://iomiraq.net/article/0/9-march-2017-mosul-displacement-snapshot

For further information please contact Hala Jaber at IOM Iraq, Tel. +964 751 740 1654, Email: hjaberbent@iom.int 

Posted: Friday, March 10, 2017 - 17:40Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastIraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Stranded Nigerian and Gambian Migrants Return Home from Libya

IOM - News - Ven, 03/10/2017 - 10:40
Language English

Libya - On 7 March, IOM helped 171 stranded Nigerian migrants – 76 men and 95 women – to return home from Libya by air. Two days later, on 9 March, IOM assisted another 141 stranded Gambians – all men – to return home to Banjul. It was IOM Libya’s first charter flight to the Gambia.

The two charter flights were coordinated with Libyan, Nigerian and Gambian authorities and departed from Tripoli’s Mitiga Airport. IOM provided pre-departure interviews, medical check-ups and material assistance, including clothes and shoes.

Among the Nigerian passengers was 23-year-old Gloria*, who came to Libya with her husband to try to travel to Europe. In Libya, they were arrested and taken to different detention centres. Gloria now hopes that her husband also will receive IOM voluntary return assistance so that they can be reunited at home in Nigeria.

In Nigeria, 17-year-old Esther* dreamt of continuing her education but lacked the financial means. She then decided to travel to Libya and eventually on to Europe. In Libya, she was pushed to work in demeaning conditions, which is why she decided to return home.

Maris* was working as a hairdresser in Nigeria, when she met a man who promised to find a decent job for her in Libya and to ultimately help her reach Europe. After reaching Libya, she was forced to work as a hairdresser without pay in horrible conditions. “I did not see the sun for four month,” she told IOM. “I am glad that I am being helped to get home,” she added.

Among the passengers on the Nigerian flight were 13 unaccompanied minors (12 girls and 1 boy), of whom 11 received family tracing assistance from IOM Libya’s protection team, funded by the Government of Italy. There was also a victim of human trafficking and a disabled person who required a medical escort.

The 24 most vulnerable cases on the Nigerian flight will also be eligible for reintegration support, which will give them the opportunity to start a small business or to continue their education. IOM will also support any medical treatment needed as a consequence of their time in Libya.

Three unaccompanied minors and two passengers who received medical assistance, but were deemed fit to travel without medical escort, returned home as part of the Gambian group. Twelve migrants from that group are entitled to receive IOM’s reintegration assistance on arrival in the Gambia.

“My wife and daughter are waiting for me to return with gifts,” explained 35-year-old electric engineer Peter* who is returning home to Gambia empty handed after having lost all his savings in Libya. His wife is currently pregnant with their second child and his daughter is in school “I have nothing to give them, I would rather die than to return empty handed, but I will go home now and work in my country and die there,” he told IOM.

The return assistance was funded by the UK Foreign Office, the Government of the Netherlands and the EU’s Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace. It was part of IOM’s return assistance programme.

So far in 2017, IOM Libya has helped 1,164 stranded migrants return to their countries of origin. Of these, 298 were eligible for reintegration assistance.

*All migrant names have been changed to protect identities.

For further information, please contact IOM Libya. Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int or Ashraf Hassan, Tel +216 29 794707, Email: ashassan@iom.int

Posted: Friday, March 10, 2017 - 17:38Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastLibyaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationHumanitarian EmergenciesDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Trains Latin-American, Caribbean Officials on International Migration

IOM - News - Ven, 03/10/2017 - 10:33
Language English

Argentina - IOM is providing training on international migration to 30 government representatives from 18 Latin American and Caribbean countries. The 39th edition of the Inter-American Course on International Migration started in Mar del Plata, Argentina this week (6/3) and will run through 21 March.

The IOM course, which has trained nearly 850 government officials over the years, has 20 leading experts and scholars in the migration field participating this year.

IOM's Regional Director for South America, Diego Beltrand said that the course helps to train government officials on migration policies – both from free mobility and migrants’ rights perspectives. Officials can apply their expertise not only to the policies of their states, but also in the multilateral fora where migration is discussed, he noted.

Counsellor Ana Cristina Saíno, head of the International Migration Directorate of the General Directorate of Consular Affairs at Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, highlighted the importance of training officials in charge of migration and consular matters.

She noted that Argentina is committed to the respect and protection of migrants’ human rights, and recalled the words of Chancellor Susana Malcorra, who said on the occasion of the High-Level Meeting on Refugees and Migrants held in September 2016 in New York: “For Argentines, migration is part of our social DNA and has marked the social, political and cultural organization of our country since the beginning.”

The course consists of six modules on topics including: understanding migration processes, international protection of migrants, instruments of migration governance as well as policies and programs of international migration. It also focuses on international dialogue and regional integration processes.

Pablo Ceriani, Vice President of the UN Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (CMW), noted: “Training on human rights is an essential step towards the design of integral, legitimate and effective migration policies.”

José Fernando Rubiano, Advisor of the Colombia Nos Une Program of the Ministry of Foreigner Affairs of Colombia described the course “as a fundamental pillar to understand migration in Latin America and valuable tool to continue formulating effective migration policies to migrants.”

The course is also being attended by experts from UNHCR, UN OHCHR, the Institute for Public Policy on Human Rights (IPPDH) of the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR) and the Scalabrini International Migration Network.

More information about the course is available here in Spanish: http://robuenosaires.iom.int/sites/default/files/publicaciones/Brochure_...

For further information, please contact Juliana Quintero at the IOM Regional Office in Buenos Aires, Tel. + (54) 11 5219 2033, Email: juquintero@iom.int

Posted: Friday, March 10, 2017 - 17:30Image: Region-Country: AmericaArgentinaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Norway Training Focuses on Mental Health, Well-being of Migrants

IOM - News - Ven, 03/10/2017 - 10:30
Language English

Norway - IOM, in partnership with the Norwegian Institute for Public Health (NIPH), this week organized a series of trainings designed help to improve migrant mental health and psychosocial well-being in Norway.

The week-long series of seminars, workshops and trainings was geared towards improving the knowledge and skills of members of the Norwegian NGO community, academics and professionals working with vulnerable groups, including migrants.

The programme was led by Guglielmo Schinina, IOM’s Head of Global Mental Health, Psychosocial Response and Intercultural Communication. He explained that migrants have mental health needs just as non-migrant populations do, but they also face a number of extraordinary stressors which can adversely affect their well-being and make their integration into society more difficult. 

“Most importantly, we cannot forget that mental health, as with any form of health, is a right for migrants as much as it is for non-migrant populations,” he said. 

One of the highlights of the joint IOM-NIPH sessions was the in-depth exchanges concerning the objectification of migration and the myths surrounding “healthy migrants” and “vulnerable migrants”. The discussion therefore focused on ways to work on the resilience of host communities to be accepting of migrants as much as to help migrants in need.

A separate round-table discussion focused on the inclusion of migrants in the arts with the aim of creating a network to develop social theatre to identify and address the psychosocial needs of the migrant community.

Once a predominant focus on mental problems and “trauma”, psychosocial intervention has now shifted to strengthening resilience and social support.

Steve Hamilton, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Norway, explained why strengthening the capacity of the community through a dedicated series of events dedicated to migrant mental health and psychosocial well-being is beneficial.

“IOM’s commitments are to all migrants in a community and therefore extend to the community as a whole.  Within any community there are those with mental health concerns that need to be addressed in a timely manner. So enhancing an overall ability to support, and better understand, these individuals is essential,” he noted.

IOM created its first psychosocial program in 1998, followed by the creation of a unit in 2000 and finally by the foundation of a global section at its headquarters in 2009.

In just the past two years, IOM has provided mental health and psychosocial support to more than 720,000 migrants, displaced persons, and conflict-affected individuals in 32 countries, and trained 4,500 professionals worldwide.

For further information please contact Sigurd Tvete at IOM Norway, Tel +47 406 749 86, Email: stvete@iom.int

Posted: Friday, March 10, 2017 - 17:29Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaNorwayThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration HealthDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Seeks Greater Access to Decent Work for Migrant Women and Girls

IOM - News - Mer, 03/08/2017 - 06:13
Language English

Switzerland - We live in a world in constant motion, writes IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.  This is defined by the mobility of capital, goods and services but above all the mobility of people. Millions of people are moving, within and across borders, in search of something better.   

One of the fastest growing groups is women and girls migrating for employment, caught up in the ever-changing, globalized world of work. Current estimates by the International Labour Organization put the official number of international female migrant workers at 66 million, which does not include the large numbers of migrant women working or migrating irregularly. Numbers of internal female migrant workers are estimated to be much greater.

On International Women’s Day 2017, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) embraces the official United Nations theme, Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030, by honouring migrant women and girls.

We salute their achievements and acknowledge the challenges they face. And as we work with Member States to draft a ground-breaking Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, we call on governments and the international community to expand their access to decent work and ensure that their migration experience is as positive as possible.

The world of work has never been more globalized and interconnected than it is today. A labour shortage in one part of the world is often filled by workers from the other side of the world. Women are very much part of this phenomenon and can be found in all labour market sectors.

For example, global care chains create demand for care and domestic work that draws women from countries in South Asia, Southeast Asia and Latin America, to perform such work in Europe, North America and the Middle East.

In countries of origin too, other women and girls are stepping into the service gaps left by the family members who have sought employment abroad.  Many other women and girls are migrating to work in other sectors, such as agriculture, manufacturing and hospitality.

For many women and girls, migrating for work is an attractive proposition. It can allow them to advance economically, socially and professionally; it can contribute to an increase in self-confidence, autonomy and control over their lives; and it can enable them to better support their families. It might also expose them to new, more equitable gender norms.

For the host societies, the contributions of female migrant workers are of enormous benefit. In addition to filling important labour gaps, these women also contribute to the economies of their host societies. And those who perform care and domestic work also enable other people, often women, to pursue employment and other activities outside of the home by relieving them of duties that might otherwise fall on them.

For the countries of origin, female migrant workers are not only an important source of remittances; when they eventually return home, whether temporarily or permanently, they also take back newly acquired skills and knowledge.

Unfortunately there is another, less pleasant side to this picture. Migration can also present many challenges for women workers, starting even before migration takes place. Unscrupulous recruiters may mislead or cheat women seeking to migrate for work, leading to abuse and exploitation. In extreme cases, women can be tricked and fall into the hands of human traffickers.

Those women who succeed in reaching their destination often end up working in more informal and less regulated labour market sectors (including domestic work and care giving) where wages are low and worker protection insufficient.

At the other end of the skills ladder, higher-skilled migrant women often work in sectors where they have difficulty in getting official recognition for their professional skills and qualifications. As a result, they often suffer disproportionately from underemployment and deskilling.

For all migrant women – and irregular migrants in particular – these challenges can be made worse by sexism, racism and xenophobia. There is, however, reason to hope for a better deal.

On 19 September 2016, world leaders agreed to work towards the development of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. This is a unique opportunity to ensure that the particular needs of female migrant workers, and of all women and girls affected by migration, are sufficiently addressed by governments and the international community alike. As we work to draft this ambitious and much-needed document, we must ensure that they are not left behind. 

Posted: Wednesday, March 8, 2017 - 13:06Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaSwitzerlandThemes: OthersDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM