Home / Press Room IOM

Press Room IOM

Over 600,000 Displaced Syrians Returned Home in First 7 Months of 2017

IOM - News - Ven, 08/11/2017 - 10:21

Geneva – Between January and July 2017, 602,759 displaced Syrians returned home according to reports from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and implementing partners on the ground. Findings indicate that the vast majority of the people returning (84 per cent) had been displaced within Syria. The next highest number of people (16 per cent) returned from Turkey, followed by Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. Refugees returning from Turkey and Jordan reportedly returned mainly to Aleppo and Al Hasakeh Governorates.

An estimated 27 per cent of the returnees stated that they did so to protect their assets or properties and 25 per cent referred to the improved economic situation in their area of origin. Other factors people gave IOM and partners as their reasons for returning included the worsening economic situation in the place where they were seeking refuge (14 per cent), social or cultural issues such as tribal links, political affiliations or any obstacle preventing integration in their area of displacement (11 per cent), and the improvement of the security situation in their area of return (11 per cent).

Half of all returns in 2016 were to Aleppo Governorate. The report shows that similar trends have been observed in 2017. Consequently, an estimated 67 per cent of the returnees returned to Aleppo Governorate (405,420 individuals), 27,620 to Idleb Governorate, and 75,209 to Hama Governorate, 45,300 to Ar-Raqqa Governorate, 21,346 to Rural Damascus and 27,861 to other governorates.

Within the Governorates mentioned, Aleppo city, received the most returnees, followed by Al Bab sub-district in Aleppo Governorate, Hama sub-district in Hama Governorate, Menbij sub-district in the northeast of Aleppo Governorate, and Al-Khafsa sub-district also in Aleppo Governorate.

According to reports, almost all (97 per cent) returned to their own house, 1.8 per cent are living with hosts, 1.4 per cent in abandoned houses, 0.14 per cent in informal settlements and 0.03 per cent in rented accommodation.

Access of returnees to food and household items is 83 per cent and 80 per cent respectively. Access to water (41 per cent) and health services (39 per cent) is dangerously low as the country’s infrastructure has been extremely damaged by the conflict.

The report indicates that an increasing number of Syrians displaced within the country appear to be returning home. The total figure by end of July this year was already close to the 685,662 returns identified in the whole of 2016. However, of those returnees, an estimated 20,752 and 21,045 were displaced again in 2016 and 2017 respectively. This means that around 10 per cent of those who returned ended up as internally displaced persons (IDPs) once again.

While trends of returns increase, Syria continues to witness high rates of displacement. From January to July 2017, an estimated 808,661 people were displaced, many for the second or third time, and over 6 million in total currently remain displaced within the country.

IDP returns have mainly been spontaneous but not necessarily voluntary, safe or sustainable. As such, they cannot, at present, be considered within the context of a durable solutions framework. Find out more about this at: https://www.iom.int/progressive-resolution-displacement-situations.

These data have been collected by IOM’s implementing partners, who use a set of tools and methods to identify, assess and monitor different population categories throughout Syria, in relation to needs and mobility dynamics at a community level.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 22 717 9435, Email: oheadon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 - 15:50Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationHumanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM distributes hygiene kits in Damas, Syria last May 2017. File photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

The city of Zabadani in Syria taken last June 2017 during an IOM assessment. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categorie: Press Room IOM

Thailand Opens Stakeholder Dialogue on Global Migration Compact

IOM - News - Ven, 08/11/2017 - 10:14

Bangkok - The Royal Thai Government, with support from the UN Migration Agency (IOM), today (11/8) opened the first of four stakeholder dialogues as part of a national consultation process to prepare for future negotiations on the Global Compact to Promote Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

The Compact, which was announced at the United Nations in September 2016 as part of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, is expected to be finalized and adopted by UN Member States at an intergovernmental conference in late 2018.

The first stakeholder dialogue in Mae Sot, close the Myanmar border, is being attended by over 50 delegates from the central, provincial, and district government, NGOs and academia. It focuses on the smuggling of migrants, trafficking in persons and international cooperation to combat the problem.

Three more dialogues between now and November in Ranong, Samut Sakhon and Bangkok will focus on migrant rights and the recognition of migrant work.

Thailand is among the first countries worldwide to carry out national consultations ahead of the Compact negotiations. The outcomes are expected to clarify and shape Thailand’s priorities at a regional preparatory meeting in Bangkok in November.

The consultation process is being led by the by Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). IOM is providing technical support.

MFA Deputy Director-General Supart Prongthura, who heads the International Organizations Department, reaffirmed the Thai government’s commitment towards effective and inclusive migration management. He identified collaboration between national government agencies, societal actors, and the international community as a key factor to be taken into account during negotiations on the Compact.

IOM Thailand Chief of Mission Dana Graber Ladek welcomed the inclusive and transparent nature of the consultations. “With an estimated migrant population of five million, Thailand faces a diverse range of migration challenges. The dialogues constitute an important platform to promote policy dialogue, cooperation and partnership on migration issues among key stakeholders,” she said.

For more information, please contact please contact IOM Thailand:
Dana Graber Ladek, Email: dgraber@iom.int, Tel: +66 2 343 9301
Reuben Lim, Email: rlim@iom.int, Tel: +66 2 343 9370.

Language English Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 - 15:45Image: Region-Country: ThailandThemes: Capacity BuildingGlobal CompactGlobal Compact on MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM is supporting the Royal Thai Government in its first stakeholder dialogue in Mae Sot with 50 participants from various sectors. Photo: Yotesak Nasua/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Mr. Supark Prongthura, Deputy Director-General of the Department of International Organization, Ministry of Foreign Affairs giving his opening address at the stakeholder dialogue in Mae Sot. Photo: Yotesak Nasua/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM, Lagos-Abidjan Corridor Organization Strengthens Cross-border Coordination on Infectious Disease Outbreaks

IOM - News - Ven, 08/11/2017 - 10:14

Aflao – A cross-border meeting was organized this week (09/08) by IOM Ghana and the Lagos–Abidjan Corridor Organization (ALCO) in Aflao on the Ghana-Togo border to strengthen cross-border communication and coordination between the two countries.

Improving the cross-border communication should help Ghana and Togo to prevent, detect and respond to infectious diseases and other potential public health issues.

The Ebola outbreak in the region had highlighted the weakness in disease surveillance and health security at points of entry and border communities across the region. To address such challenges, the two countries want to formalize the cross-border and regional public health information-sharing protocols. These protocols are put in place to enhance real time cross-border information sharing and coordinated response to public health issues.

The participants at this week’s meeting assessed the components of the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response System in both countries, as well as outlined Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) for cross-border communication and notification of epidemic–prone diseases.

Elliot Agbenorwu, the Municipal Chief Executive of the Ketu South Municipality, stressed the need for cross-border information-sharing “as key to the control and prevention of diseases between the two countries, particularly due to the fact that there are only imaginary borders. You have Togolese who live in Togo and attend school in Ghana and likewise Ghanaians; so it is vital that there is coordination amongst the agencies as we are one people with common problems.”

Dr. Viviane Akakpo, Representative of the Ministry of Health for Togo, noted that “the Ebola epidemic in West Africa taught us two important things. First, the spread of Ebola was fuelled among other things by the inability to control and screen population movements across borders and second, sick travellers should be swiftly identified and cared for with extra caution.”

This initiative was undertaken under IOM’s Global Health Security Project funded by the United States’ Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The key priority of the project this year is to strengthen cross-border disease surveillance and coordination amongst neighbouring countries. As such, IOM is taking a multilateral and multi-sectoral approach to strengthen both global and local capacities in their ability to prevent, detect and respond to human and animal infectious disease threats.

For further information please contact Papa Kwaw Mensah at IOM Ghana, Tel: +233302742930, Email: pkmensah@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 - 15:44Image: Region-Country: GhanaThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

A group picture of frontline agencies from both Ghana and Togo  at the IOM/ALCO joint cross border on joint efforts in enhancing cross border surveillance and information sharing. Photo: David Pwayidi / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categorie: Press Room IOM

160 Ethiopian Migrants Forced into the Seas off Yemen by Smugglers Today, Following Death of Up to 50 Yesterday

IOM - News - Gio, 08/10/2017 - 21:12
Language English

Aden – 160 Ethiopian migrants were violently forced into the sea off Yemen’s coast this morning (10/08). This comes one day after the presumed death of 50 Ethiopian and Somali migrants during a similar incident. As with yesterday, this tragedy took place off the coast of Shabwa, a Yemeni Governorate along the Arabian Sea – although in a different location and closer to the shore.

Staff from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, found six bodies on the beach – two male and four female. An additional 13 Ethiopian migrants are still missing (unaccounted for). IOM provided emergency medical assistance to 57 migrants today. IOM also provided food, water and other emergency relief assistance to the surviving migrants. 84 migrants (in addition to the 57) left the beach before IOM arrived.  

Every year, thousands of migrants risk their lives on this life-threatening route towards the Gulf countries through Yemen, a country in crisis. The journey and the situation in Yemen is extremely dangerous for migrants. The psychological effect these experiences have on children can be enormous. This is why IOM has psychologists embedded in their patrolling teams on Yemen’s beaches. The deadly actions of the smugglers today bring the total number of presumed dead over the last two day close to 70. More information on yesterday’s incident can be found in our previous release: http://www.iom.int/news/50-somali-ethiopian-migrants-deliberately-drowne.... IOM is aware of 114 dead or missing in 2017 off the coast of Yemen (Gulf of Aden and in the Red Sea en route to Yemen) and 109 in 2016. The actual total is likely to be higher.

Survivors from both incidents described their journey with the smugglers to IOM: Throughout the journey, migrants had been brutally treated by the smugglers. They were forced to squat down for the entirety of the trip from Ambah Shore in Somalia, which sometimes takes between 24-36 hours, so that the smugglers could increase the number of people in the boat. The migrants were not allowed to move inside the boat. They were not allowed a private or separate space to use the bathroom and had to urinate on themselves. In some cases, the smugglers tied their hands so if something did happen, they would not be able to run or swim or save their lives. If one of the migrants accidentally moved, he would be beaten or even killed. The migrants were not allowed to take enough food or water on the journey to fulfill their basic needs. They were only allowed to take one to two litres of water and one small meal. They also faced many dangerous during the journey in the windy season.

Migrant survivors from other smuggling journeys have told IOM that usually smuggler networks coordinate when migrants arrive in Yemen so that they would have a pick up location. Some migrants who are able to pay extra money are taken by car to unknown destinations. Others, who do not have money, walk for long distances, without knowing where they are headed.

“Recently, smugglers have been pushing migrants out of the boats, fearing that the security forces might arrest them. This is what happened the past two days in Shabwa,” said Lina Koussa, IOM’s Emergency Response Officer in Aden.

“We condemn the acts of smugglers off the coast of Yemen – 120 Somali and Ethiopian migrants were forced from a boat yesterday, and another 160 today, the death toll is still unknown,” said William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General.

“The utter disregard for human life by these smugglers, and all human smugglers worldwide, is nothing less than immoral. What is a teenager’s life worth? On this route to the Gulf countries, it can be as little as 100 USD. There is something fundamentally wrong with this world if countless numbers of children can be deliberately and ruthlessly drowned in the ocean, when they are no longer an easy source of income, and nothing is done to stop it from ever happening again,” continued DG Swing.

“It should never have happened in the first place. We should not have to wait for tragedies like these to show us that international cooperation must be enhanced to fight human smuggling – not just through policy but through real action along these smuggling routes. This is a busy and extremely dangerous smuggling route. Yemen is suffering one of today’s most dire humanitarian crises. Countries experiencing conflict or crisis like Yemen need greater support to reinforce law enforcement and humanitarian border management with the aim of protecting vulnerable migrants like these 16 year old kids. My thoughts are with their families and loved ones in Ethiopia and Somalia. I am making a promise to them that IOM will not forget them and will continue to fight to protect the rights and dignity of future generations of migrants,” concluded DG Swing.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM HQ in Geneva, Tel: +41794035365, Email: oheadon@iom.int

Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 - 03:11Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Human SmugglingDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Up to 50 Somali, Ethiopian Migrants Deliberately Drowned by Smugglers off Yemen

IOM - News - Mer, 08/09/2017 - 19:25

Aden – Early this morning (09/08), a human smuggler, in charge of the boat, forced more than 120 Somali and Ethiopian migrants into the pitching sea as they approached the coast of Shabwa, a Yemeni Governorate along the Arabian Sea. The migrants had been hoping to reach countries in the Gulf via war-torn Yemen.

Shortly after the tragedy, staff from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, found the shallow graves of 29 migrants on a beach in Shabwa, during a routine patrol. The dead had been buried rapidly by those who survived the smuggler’s deadly actions. IOM is working closely with the International Committee of the Red Cross to ensure appropriate care for the deceased migrants’ remains.

IOM’s medical staff also provided urgent care to the 27 surviving migrants, both females and males, who had remained on the beach. IOM provided initial health checks and assistance, including food, water and other emergency relief. Some of the survivors (approximately 42 in addition to the 27 survivors IOM spoke to) had already left the beach before being assisted. Twenty-two migrants are reportedly still missing and unaccounted for. The approximate average age of the passengers on the boat was 16. 

"The survivors told our colleagues on the beach that the smuggler pushed them to the sea, when he saw some ‘authority types’ near the coast," explained Laurent de Boeck, the IOM Yemen Chief of Mission. "They also told us that the smuggler has already returned to Somalia to continue his business and pick up more migrants to bring to Yemen on the same route. This is shocking and inhumane. The suffering of migrants on this migration route is enormous. Too many young people pay smugglers with the false hope of a better future," continued de Boeck.

Since January 2017 to date, IOM estimates that around 55,000 migrants left the Horn of Africa to come to Yemen, most with the aim of trying to find better opportunities in the Gulf countries. More than 30,000 of those migrants are under the age of 18 from Somalia and Ethiopia, while a third are estimated to be female.

This journey is especially hazardous during the current windy season in the Indian Ocean. Smugglers are active in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, offering fake promises to vulnerable migrants. IOM and its partners operate across the region to support these migrants and provide lifesaving assistance to those who find themselves abused or stranded along the route.  

For more information, please contact:

Lina Koussa at IOM Aden, Tel: +967 73 770 0120, Email: lkoussatdy@iom.int
Olivia Headon at IOM HQ in Geneva, Tel: +41794035365, Email: oheadon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 01:15Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Human SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff tend to the remains of a deceased migrant on a beach in Yemen. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

IOM staff assist Somali, Ethiopian migrants who were forced into the sea by smugglers. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

IOM staff assist Somali, Ethiopian migrants who were forced into the sea by smugglers. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Responds as Rainy Season Threatens Further Spread of Cholera in South Sudan

IOM - News - Mar, 08/08/2017 - 10:01

Juba – As the rainy season progresses in South Sudan, rapid responses are critical to stemming the cholera outbreak that has affected the country for over a year. The outbreak has compounded already dire humanitarian needs. Approximately four million people have been displaced by the conflict that erupted in December 2013.

Since 18 June 2016, over 18,000 cholera cases - including 328 deaths - have been reported in South Sudan. IOM health and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) teams continue to respond to the outbreak through case management and preventive measures across the country.

Disease outbreaks are particularly dangerous for displaced and vulnerable populations, such as children under five years of age, who account for more than one in five cholera cases reported in 2017.

Many locations experiencing outbreaks are in proximity to the Nile River, increasing the impact of the rainy season on the cholera outbreak and threat of spreading further.

“In a country with mass displacement and severe levels of food insecurity, the effect of the continued cholera outbreak on the health of vulnerable populations is acute,” explained Dr. Beldina Gikundi, IOM South Sudan Migration Health Emergency Officer. “As we saw the outbreak continue even during the dry season in 2017, we expect to see the trend persist throughout the rainy season, which leaves as much as 60 per cent of the country inaccessible by road. Sustained and flexible responses are crucial to stemming the continued transmission of the disease in this extremely challenging context.”

An IOM WASH team has been on the ground in Kapoeta, Eastern Equatoria, since May to help stem the outbreak that began in April, with more than 4,200 cases reported.

To date, the team has repaired 84 boreholes, distributed cholera response kits—including jerry cans, water treatment supplies and soap—to more than 2,600 households, as well as conducted water quality monitoring and treatment at water points and distributed soap and household water treatment supplies during hygiene promotion sessions.

Since the outbreak began, IOM teams have been deployed to cholera-affected areas across the country. Teams continue to conduct hygiene promotion, core relief item distribution and borehole repairs in Bentiu and Rubkona towns, and Wau town and surrounding areas, as well as in UN protection of civilian sites across the country.

IOM health teams, in collaboration with partners, are leading oral cholera vaccination (OCV) campaigns across the country, recently reaching more than 39,900 people in parts of Jonglei and Unity in an effort to reduce the number of cholera cases in outbreak areas.

IOM is currently on the ground in Warrap, preparing to lead an upcoming OCV campaign targeting more than 189,000 people in Tonj East County.

Through the USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) Rapid Response Fund (RRF), managed by IOM, partners have been deployed on 14 missions to respond to and promote prevention of cholera cases since the outbreak began in 2016. Seven RRF partners are currently on the ground in three states to provide health and WASH assistance to cholera-affected communities.

IOM conducts multi-sector humanitarian responses across South Sudan, where over 7.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. The scale of needs is unprecedented, with approximately one in three South Sudanese displaced from their homes today, compared to 1 in 12 during the first year of the crisis.

For more information, please contact Ashley McLaughlin at IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211 912 379 793, Email: amclaughlin@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 15:27Image: Region-Country: South SudanThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

Children fetch water in a well at the Bentiu Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites in South Sudan. File photo: Ashley McLaughlin / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

IOM conducts WASH activies in Kapoeta, South Sudan. File photo: UN Migration Agency 2017

IOM conducts WASH activies in Kapoeta, South Sudan. File photo: UN Migration Agency 2017

A scene at the Wau Bentiu Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites in South Sudan. File photo: Ashley McLaughlin / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categorie: Press Room IOM

132 Guinean Migrants Return Home Safely from Libya with UN Migration Agency Help

IOM - News - Mar, 08/08/2017 - 10:01

Conakry – On 3 August, 132 Guinean migrants, including six unaccompanied children, returned voluntarily to Guinea from Libya with the support of IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in collaboration with Guinean and Libyan authorities.

William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General, who was in Libya at the time, saw them off at Tripoli’s Mitiga Airport on Thursday. The returnees arrived in Conakry that same evening.

“Many of these migrants just really want to go home,” said Ambassador Swing from the airport tarmac. “We have voluntarily returned nearly 6,000 people so far this year and we hope to have helped at least 12,000–15,000 migrants get home safely from Libya through voluntary humanitarian return assistance by the end of 2017.”

Prior to departure, IOM Libya conducted interviews and medical checkups with the migrants. They also received additional assistance, such as kits containing clothes and shoes.

At Conakry airport, the returnees were welcomed by teams from IOM, the National Service for Humanitarian Actions (SENAH), the Red Cross, representatives of the Ministry in charge of Guineans Living Abroad, and of the Ministry of Social Affairs. Apart from providing psychosocial support, IOM interviewed the returnees to obtain deeper insight into the profile of irregular migrants – why they left their country, their migratory pathway and living conditions in Libya. Among the migrants assisted, three patients received medical assistance from the Red Cross upon arrival at Conakry. The three were then transferred by ambulance to a medical facility in a special unit prepared for returning migrants.

Further support will be provided as part of the IOM programme, Enhancement of Migration Governance and Support for the Sustainable Reintegration of Migrants in the Republic of Guinea funded by the European Union.
Several returnees were interviewed, including Habib*, who had been working as a tailor in Libya for the last five years and owned a sewing workshop with his two brothers. He recounted how a police officer came over one day and asked him to adjust a uniform that was too large. The outfit was so large that Habib explained to him it was impossible. The officer lost his temper, stabbed Habib and ordered his imprisonment.
Amadou* left for Italy in one of five boats that set sail at the same time. Once they entered international waters, they were intercepted and captured by robbers/bandits. The sea was so rough that one of the boats capsized and sank with roughly 150 persons on board, most of whom were Guineans.

Mamadou* (14 years old) had left Boké several months earlier with money from a motor bike he had sold. His family had thought he was dead but some Guinean returning migrants told them he was at the Ghryian detention centre. IOM teams in Guinea and Libya joined efforts to locate and identify Mamadou. His family recognized him from a photograph taken by IOM at the detention centre. His elder brother came to meet him at the airport.

From 1 January to 19 July, IOM helped 5,546 migrants, 17 per cent of whom were women, return from Libya to their countries of origin. Three-quarters of these returnees had been held in detention centres. 2,221 were eligible for reintegration assistance. So far since January 2017, IOM has organized six flights of this nature from Libya to Guinea. These numbers of people returning add to other Guinean returnees from Benin, Cameroon, Egypt, Morocco and Niger.

The programme, Enhancement of Migration Governance and Support for the Sustainable Reintegration of Migrants in the Republic of Guinea was launched in April 2017 for a three-year period covering six administrative regions of Guinea: Conakry, Boké, Mamou, Labé, Kankan and N’Zérékoré. Under this project, IOM Guinea will support returning migrants, depending on their profiles and needs, by facilitating the creation of a small business, involving them in a collective and/or community business initiative, or providing them with vocational training.

*The names of the migrants have been changed to protect their privacy.
For more information, please contact Lucas Chandellier, at IOM Guinea, Tel: +224 628 33 86 53, E-mail: lchandellier@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 15:26Image: Region-Country: GuineaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Since January 2017, IOM has organized six flights returning Guinean migrants home from Libya. Above is a photo of Guinean migrants arriving home last June 13 via a flight chartered by IOM. File photo: Lucas Chandellier / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categorie: Press Room IOM

Armenian Disaster Response Simulation Supported by UN Migration Agency

IOM - News - Mar, 08/08/2017 - 10:01

Yerevan – On 2 August, the first inter-agency simulation exercise on humanitarian relief and disaster preparedness between Armenia and Georgia took place with the support of IOM, the UN Migration Agency.

At the request of the Armenian Ministry of Emergency Situations, IOM organized a simulation for 30 participants from concerned agencies at the Gogavan crossing on the Armenian-Georgian border. The exercise aimed to build the capacity of Armenian officials in humanitarian crisis response, including conflict-induced displacement.

The initiative comes on the heels of increased migration to Armenia, including from Syria, and rising concerns of climate-induced displacement.

“The mountainous part of the South Caucasus is one of the most seismically active regions in the world,” noted Ilona Ter-Minasyan, Head of the IOM Yerevan office. “As such, earthquakes, floods and landslides have the potential to devastate local populations and economies. The risk of hostilities in the region underlines the importance of joint simulations. It is crucial that border officials are well prepared.”

The Armenian officials taking part included representatives of border management, police, health, and agricultural agencies, who focused on striking a balance between humanitarian responsibility, the safety and dignity of migrants, and facilitating orderly migration through improved registration and protection. Georgian officials participated as observers.

The simulation created a small camp just a few kilometres from the Gogavan border crossing point, where participants worked together to discuss shelter, access to food and clean water, sanitation facilities, and the medical needs of migrants.

“Such exercises should be conducted in the most realistic way possible in order to expose existing shortcomings and correct them,” said Davit Tonoyan, Armenia Minister for Emergencies, at the simulation.

For more information, please contact Ilona Ter-Minasyan at IOM Armenia, Tel: +37410583786, Email iterminasyan@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 15:25Image: Region-Country: ArmeniaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants of the inter-agency simulation exercise on humanitarian relief and disaster preparedness between Armenia and Georgia. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

IOM organizes a simulation at the Gogavan crossing on the Armenian-Georgian border aiimed to build the capacity of Armenian officials in humanitarian crisis response. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Participants of the inter-agency simulation exercise on humanitarian relief and disaster preparedness between Armenia and Georgia. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 116,692 in 2017; 2,405 Deaths

IOM - News - Mar, 08/08/2017 - 10:00

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 116,692 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 6 August, with almost 83 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 263,436 arrivals across the region through 6 August 2016.

IOM Rome reports that according to official figures of the Italian MOI, 96,438 migrants arrived in Italy by sea this year, which is slightly (3.3 per cent) fewer than last year during the same period, when 99,727 arrived, highlighting a trend that IOM has observed of slower traffic to Italy during mid-summer, and fewer deaths.

The Italian MOI also released an updated chart comparing the monthly arrivals by sea in Italy between 2017, 2016 and 2015.

According to data collected by IOM Regional Officers at the Greek islands, it is estimated that among migrants, who arrived by sea to Greece in 2016, there were approximately 42 per cent male, 21 per cent female and 37 per cent children. Their main country of departure was Turkey and their main landing points were the islands of Lesvos, Kos, Samos, Rhodes, Kalymnos, Megisti, Leros and Chios.

The total fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2017 have risen to 2,405. Although this figure trails the number of deaths (3,193) recorded at this time last year, it nonetheless marks the fourth consecutive year migrant deaths in the Mediterranean Sea have exceeded 2,350.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 3,420 fatalities in 2017 through 6 August (see chart below) with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – over two-thirds of the global total.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration,iom,int/docs/MMP/170808_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 more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@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
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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 15:24Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Thai Consular Officials Trained by UN Migration Agency to Aid Nationals Abroad During Crises

IOM - News - Mar, 08/08/2017 - 10:00
Language English

Bangkok – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is today (8 August) organizing a workshop for over 100 consular officials from the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on how to assist Thai nationals abroad in times of crisis.

The Migrants in Countries in Crisis (MICIC) workshop is taking place during the Thai MFA’s World Consuls’ Meeting, which is being held from 7–10 August in Bangkok.

The training aims to strengthen Thailand’s crisis management capacity when dealing with potentially vulnerable Thai migrants living or working abroad in countries experiencing crises such as conflicts or natural disasters.

It focuses on the implementation of a set of guidelines developed by the Migrant in Countries in Crisis (MICIC) government-led initiative – co-chaired by the United States and the Philippines – to provide practical guidance for States, private sector actors, international organizations and civil society to protect migrants in times of crisis.

IOM hosts the international secretariat of the MICIC initiative and supports the dissemination of the MICIC Guidelines and the development of related capacity-building tools worldwide.

Dana Graber Ladek, IOM Thailand Chief of Mission, sees MICIC’s role as critical for vulnerable migrants abroad.

“Migrants are often affected disproportionally in times of crisis due to a lack of access to sufficient information and resources to protect themselves,” said Ladek. “The inclusion of migrants in the crisis management frameworks of countries both of origin and of destination can help reduce these vulnerabilities,” she said.

The workshop follows a series of capacity-building trainings carried out in 2016 by IOM with the Thai Ministry of Interior’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) to improve coordination and better assist migrants during emergencies in Thailand.

An estimated one million Thai nationals are believed to be living, working or studying abroad. The majority are in the United States, Taiwan (Province of China), Germany, Australia and the United Kingdom.

For more information, please contact please contact IOM Thailand:
Dana Graber Ladek, Tel: +66 2 343 9301, Email: dgraber@iom.int
Reuben Lim, Tel: +66 2 343 9370, Email: rlim@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 15:23Image: Region-Country: ThailandThemes: Capacity BuildingMigrant AssistanceDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency, ICAO Cooperation Enhances Effective Border Management through African Capacity Building

IOM - News - Mar, 08/08/2017 - 10:00

Moshi –The UN Migration Agency (IOM)'s African Capacity Building Centre (ACBC) in Tanzania hosted a training course on travel document security and fraud detection from 31 July to 4 August.

The training was jointly implemented by IOM and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) with the objective of building the capacity of African States on border control and migration management. The trainees were border control management and aviation systems officials from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

The two UN agencies collaborate to promote and facilitate the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation in global air travel and in border and identity management. This collaboration, including in the area of traveller identification management, is underpinned by the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the two UN agencies in November 2016.

IOM and ICAO assist Member States in meeting the growing operational challenges of migration management, advancing the understanding of migration issues, encouraging social and economic development through migration, and upholding the human dignity and well-being of migrants through efficient immigration and border management policies and structures.

Dr Qasim Sufi, IOM Tanzania Chief of Mission, spoke (in Swahili) at the conclusion of the training.

“This training is one of the most important and concrete steps forward so far in achieving the objectives of the signed MoU between the two UN agencies, especially in the domain of border control and migration management,” said Sufi in his closing remarks.

The training was composed of two sessions: Part I – the ICAO Training Package “Control of authenticity and validity of travel documents at airport borders - Level 1” carried out by ICAO qualified instructors; and Part II – the ACBC Passport Examination Procedure Manual II (PEPMII) and biometrics conducted by an IOM ACBC expert. The training enhanced the knowledge and skills of participants in performing efficient travel document examination and traveller risk assessment with the aim of intercepting high-risk individuals while expediting legitimate traveller movements across international borders.

The ICAO/IOM training session was carried out thanks to funding from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the implementation of the ICAO Comprehensive Regional Implementation Plan for Aviation Security and Facilitation in Africa (AFI SECFAL Plan) and is the first of three training courses planned for African Member States under this initiative.

The ICAO Training Package, “Control of the authenticity and validity of travel document at airport borders – Level 1”: https://www.icao.int/Training/Pages/TDexam.aspx

The IOM Training Manual on Passport Examination Procedure II (PEPMII):

For more information, please contact Nelson Goncalves at IOM Tanzania, Tel: +255688700090, Email: ngoncalves@iom.int  and Eric Henri Segura at ICAO, Tel: +221338692424, Email: Esegura@icao.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 15:22Image: Region-Country: United Republic of TanzaniaThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) hosted a training course on travel document security and fraud detection for border officials from Kenya,Tanzania and Uganda. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Participants of the training course on travel document security and fraud detection facilitated by IOM pose for a group photograph. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Presents “Granma” at 70th Locarno Film Festival

IOM - News - Mar, 08/08/2017 - 10:00

Rome – The first screening of the film “Granma”, produced in the framework of the ‘Aware Migrants’ information campaign – developed by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and financed by the Italian Ministry of the Interior – was held yesterday (7 August) as part of the 70th Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland.

The 35-minute-long film describes the story of Jonathan, a young boy from Lagos, who receives news of the death of his cousin. Jonathan undertakes a long journey to inform the grandmother about the tragedy of his cousin drowning at sea. The film reflects the complexity of migration in relation to young dreams and hopes, needs, realities, social pressure and search for freedom. It also highlights how very often the risks, which could be faced during the journey, are forgotten.

Developed from the original idea of director Gianni Amelio and directed by the Italian Daniele Gaglianone and the Nigerian Alfie Nze, “Granma” was filmed entirely in Nigeria, between Lagos and the village of Badagry. It was filmed with a Nigerian troupe and cast and its soundtrack, which includes the song "Challenging death", is also featured in a music video promoted on social media, especially in Nigeria.

"When we launched Aware Migrants last year with the Ministry of the Interior, we explained that the objective is to inform potential migrants about the risks and dangers linked to irregular migration across the Sahara Desert and Mediterranean Sea," said Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean. "Thousands of people challenge death each year to reach safety and many become victims of violence and abuses along the way. The campaign has grown remarkably and, this year, it will expand and consolidate its outreach to the main countries of origin of the migrant population in Italy.”

"The campaign features many types of media products and we realized that the testimonies and videos we have produced so far are so effective that they can also become a tool to raise public awareness in Europe and spread empathy on the violence and abuses faced by migrants. With Aware Migrants, we are actually trying to show the real face and real stories of migrants, who too often are dehumanized and reduced to mere numbers and statistics," continued Soda.

This objective is reflected in "Granma", a film that aims to enhance the cultural debate on the issue of migration in Europe and in Africa through its participation in film festivals and screenings in Europe and Africa.

For more information, please contact Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 15:21Image: Region-Country: ItalyThemes: IOMOthersDefault: Multimedia: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Young Libyan Media Professionals Trained by UN Migration Agency to Encourage Informed Reporting

IOM - News - Mar, 08/08/2017 - 10:00
Language English

Tunis – IOM, the UN Migration Agency is, holding a three-day (7–9 August) media training for 19 young Libyan media professionals.

The training, which is being held in Tunisia’s capital, Tunis, is part of the IOM Regional Development and Protection Project (RDPP) for North Africa, Development Pillar, funded by the European Union. It covers sessions on Media and Migration Public Opinion, the Power of an Image, Recommendations and Good Practices, as well as Migration Terminology and the Global and Local Context of Migration. Facilitators include Christos Christodoulides, Project Manager, IOM Nouakchott, and Paola Pace, RDPP Senior Project Manager, IOM Tunisia.

Joel Millman, IOM Spokesperson and Senior Press Officer, welcomed the participants. He congratulated them for having been successfully selected amongst over 150 young media professionals who had applied.

"We know why we are attracted to migration coverage," Millman explained. "It's exciting and it's dramatic. It's about stories of some of the world's most interesting people: pioneers striving to change their lives to make a better future for their families."

During a busy question-and-answer session following the welcome speech, Ali Jibreel Salih, a veteran Libyan journalist, made an emotional appeal to a new generation of migration reporters.

"They must go out and meet the migrants and tell their stories," Salih explained. "Thirty years ago, I shot a video of African migrants crossing the desert, some of them were dying. Today the tragedy continues but it's more organized, more systematic."

Salih, now a Media Advisor to Libya's Government of National Accord, served on the IOM panel which selected the training participants. The panel also included Khaled Gulam, Director of the Media lab of Tripoli University, as well as a representative from IOM. 

Media reporting of migration is often complicated by stereotypes and misinformation, which fosters prejudices and misconceptions of migrants. The aim of the training is to contribute to a more informed migration discourse in Libya.

The agenda also includes sessions on Libyan media coverage of migration, as well as sessions on human smuggling by Zakariya El Zaidy, migration expert on Libya, and investigative journalist and researcher, Mark Micallef.

“I am already in the human rights field but would like to receive more information on how to cover migration from a humanitarian perspective,” explained 26-year-old Fatma Al Omrani, one of the participants from the Libyan coastal city of Zuwara. “I would also like to receive more information on international terminology of migration and statistics in order to be able to better analyse migration trends in Libya.”  

For more information, please contact IOM Libya:
Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600 389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int
Karolina Edsbacker, Tel: +216 29 202 896, Email: kedsbacker@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Capacity BuildingIOMDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Search and Rescue Missions in Sahara Desert Help 1,000 Migrants

IOM - News - Mar, 08/08/2017 - 10:00

Dirkou – A total of 1,000 migrants have been rescued since April of this year in northern Niger by the search and rescue operations of IOM, the UN Migration Agency.

From 19-25 July, IOM conducted an assessment mission of migratory routes in the Ténéré desert and the area surrounding Niger's border with Libya. The aim of the mission was to improve migrant rescues, by understanding better how to assist migrants in distress on that route and to strengthen the Government of Niger’s management migration capacity. A full report on the mission can be read here.

IOM together with Niger’s Department of Civil Protection (DCP) covered more than 1,400 km at the end of July in the northern part of the country to identify the challenges and changes in flows and migratory routes, whilst also rescuing more than 150 migrants in distress.

The search and rescue operations are an integral part of the Migrants Rescue and Assistance in Agadez Region (MIRAA) project, funded by the Government of the Netherlands, and which is complementary to the larger initiative, Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism (MRRM), developed by IOM Niger and financed by the European Union.

Since January, more than 60,000 individuals have been observed entering Niger, of which only half this number were counted leaving the country through the two flow monitoring points in Séguedine and Arlit. Compared to the previous year, there are much fewer migrants reported as both incoming and outgoing.  

Following this latest assessment mission and seeing that more dangerous routes are being used by smugglers, IOM is looking at implementing new flow monitoring points in the country.

"I was shocked when, not far from the border between Niger and Libya in Toummo, we came across a large group of women mainly from Nigeria and Ghana sleeping in a dark hangar quite close to the border post, waiting for their next passage north," said Alberto Preato, MRRM Programme Manager at IOM Niger.

“We need to better understand how trafficking and smuggling networks intersect, and to further increase our presence in these remote areas in order to provide information, assistance and alternatives to migrants in need," Preato added.

During one of the latest search and rescue missions, conducted in cooperation with the Nigerien Civil Protection, IOM staff rescued 23 Gambian and Senegalese migrants who had been abandoned by their drivers, including one 7-year-old girl.

While on the mission, the staff encountered some migrants they had previously met in the ghettos around Agadez. Despite being informed about the dangers and risks of irregular migration by the community mobilizers, these migrants had nevertheless decided to try their luck and headed for Libya.

“I feel that I have failed them in some way, but I am happy to see they are alive,” said one IOM community mobilizer.

“It’s a miracle what happened today, but I have never felt so ashamed,” said one of the survivors. “I should have listened to them; I should have never embarked on this route,” he added.

The rescued migrants are now recovering at IOM’s transit centre for migrants in Agadez as they wait for assistance to voluntarily return to their countries of origin. The initiative includes a wide range of services such as direct assistance, assisted voluntary return and reintegration. 

IOM aims not only continue to provide vital assistance to migrants in distress, but also to enhance community stabilization by supporting community initiatives along the migratory routes in northern Niger.

For more information, please contact Alberto Preato at IOM Niger, Tel: +227 8053 5933, Email: apreato@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 15:30Image: Region-Country: NigerThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM together with the Nigerien Civil Protection rescue 23 Gambian and Senegalese migrants who had been abandoned by their drivers. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

IOM together with the Nigerien Civil Protection rescue 23 Gambian and Senegalese migrants who had been abandoned by their drivers. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categorie: Press Room IOM

Libya Remains Top Priority for UN Migration Agency: DG Swing in Tripoli

IOM - News - Ven, 08/04/2017 - 10:53

Tripoli – IOM, the UN Migration Agency’s Director General William Lacy Swing returned to Tripoli earlier this week (1-3/08), where he reiterated that Libya remains IOM’s top priority. In what was his second visit to Libya this year, Director General Swing along with Vincent Houver, IOM Deputy Director of the Department of Operations and Emergencies, Othman Belbeisi, IOM Chief of Mission in Libya and other IOM Libya staff met with the Prime Minister Fayez al Serraj. 

The IOM delegation also met with several Government ministers, as well as representatives of the Libyan Coast Guard and the Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM).

“Libya remains IOM’s top priority and it is therefore important for me to be back in Tripoli so soon after my last visit at the end of March,” said Director General Swing in Tripoli. “The response from the Libyan authorities has been more than positive and IOM is fully committed to further support and collaborate closely with our Libyan counterparts.”

“This visit contributed to strengthening the way IOM plans and works together with governmental counterparts to ensure the delivery of tangible results in support of the Government’s strategic priorities,” Belbeisi said following the visit.

Whilst IOM’s delocalized structure is built on a strong field presence with IOM staff all across east, south and west of Libya, an increasing number of international staff is anticipated to be back in Libya as soon as possible.

Throughout the Tripoli mission, IOM advocated for the improvement of living conditions in the detention centres and alternatives to detention including open centres and safe spaces for women, children and other vulnerable migrants, registration of migrants following rescue-at-sea operations and the continuous technical cooperation to support local partners and Libyan officials.

During the visit, Director General Swing also met with, and wished 132 stranded migrants a safe flight home to Guinea Conakry. “I appreciate the help provided by IOM and I am so happy to go home, back to my family,” one of the children who received IOM’s family tracing assistance told Director General Swing.

In order to reach IOM’s goal to assist up to 12,000 stranded migrants with voluntary humanitarian return assistance in 2017, close cooperation with representatives of the migrants’ countries of origin is key. IOM Libya invited all diplomatic representatives for an open discussion on how to further facilitate consular procedures.

Director General Swing also met with the Deputy Special Representative and Deputy Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Maria Do Valle Ribeiro, during which they discussed IOM’s scaling up and the continuous close collaboration with the UNSMIL. IOM Libya’s donor countries also received a briefing in Tunis, during which the outcomes of the Libya visit, programme developments and the way forward were presented.

For more information, please contact at IOM Libya, Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600 389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int or Christine Petré, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 4, 2017 - 16:33Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

On his second visit to Tripoli this year, UN Migration Agency (IOM) Director General William Lacy Swing meets one of 132 Guinean migrants IOM was assisting to return home after being stranded in Libya. Photo: Christine Petre/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency’s Emergency Unit Assists Newly Displaced from Tal Afar, Iraq

IOM - News - Ven, 08/04/2017 - 10:51
Language English

Erbil – This past week IOM, the UN Migration Agency, sent emergency teams from its Erbil, Iraq, mission to provide front-line non-food item (NFI) assistance to an informal settlement of internally displaced persons (IDPs). The settlers are principally nomadic herders fleeing ISIL’s last remaining major stronghold in Iraq: Tal Afar.

Following the fall of Mosul, 255 families – mostly shepherds with their livestock – fled from villages on the outskirts of Tal Afar to establish an informal camp in Badoush, about 40 kilometres from Tal Afar city, in Iraq’s Ninewa governorate. 

They escaped about six weeks ago.

Iraqi forces are preparing to launch a military offensive on Tal Afar – a city originally of 200,000 people in Iraq’s northern Nineveh province, before ISIL took control of it in mid-2014. Although the militant group has lost nearly two-thirds of the territory it once controlled, it remains active in some of the country’s northern and western areas.

Tal Afar city, with the largest Turkmen population in the country (a mix of Sunni Turkmen and Shia Arabs), is located about 60 kilometres west of Mosul.

According to reports from Tal Afar, where an estimated 10,000 to 40,000 people remain in the city, ISIL is preventing people from escaping, as it did in West Mosul, by shooting at families attempting to flee.

Those managing to flee the city, mostly women, children and the elderly, must take a meandering route to avoid being spotted by ISIL, mostly arriving in the late hours of the night. 

In the early months of the east Mosul operations, IOM was the largest out-of-camp NFI responder, delivering rapid assistance to newly retaken villages, both independently and as part of inter-agency first-line response. 

Five trucks and a group of 12 IOM staffers, from the Rapid Assessment Response Team (RART), visited the Badoush settlement to distribute much-needed NFI assistance to the displaced population, which IOM estimates is about 1,530 individuals. IOM is the first NFI partner to assist here. 

The five items in the mobile kits included mattresses, cool boxes, mats, jerry cans and summer sheets for the pastoralists who opted not to go into camps.

“Their situation is dire,” said one member of the IOM team who visited the area. “They have very little and have only received small amounts of assistance.”

“Most are stuck there because they want to remain with their livestock and cannot go back to their farms. But if their situation does not improve, many say they will have to sell their herds and go to the camps and emergency sites.”

The Mosul response demonstrated that even though a high proportion of IDPs opt for out-of-camp shelter, IOM’s response can be delayed unless the areas are easily accessible. 

Although displacements are ongoing from Tal Afar district, a mass exodus akin to that in West Mosul is not expected. Currently, IDPs are being picked up by the military and moved directly to camp locations. 

Instead, IOM hopes to give priority to these informal sites south of Tel Afar, where limited assistance is available due to the hard-to-reach nature of the location. 

IOM is also looking to prioritize out-of-camp response in hard-to-reach areas for the upcoming Tal Afar operations.

Given the prevalence of pastoralism in the Tal Afar area, there is an increasing trend of families refusing to enter campsites, simply because they want to stay with their livestock. Taking this into consideration, IOM’s Emergency Unit has coordinated with humanitarian partners and requested to be called upon for first line response for out-of-camp populations whose movements are generally more restricted, with no markets available in their locations.  

IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss added: “Out-of-camp populations in Iraq are amongst the most vulnerable. It is imperative that civilians fleeing from the conflict are able to receive humanitarian assistance and that agencies are provided with access to hard-to-reach areas such as the outskirts of Tal Afar.”

Since the start of the operations to retake Mosul in October 2016, IOM’s emergency units and rapid assessment teams have distributed 51,237 NFI kits in Ninewa, 23,808 fuel vouchers, 3,220 sealing-off kits to improve shelter conditions and 6,362 clothing vouchers.

IOM also provided 1,765 emergency shelter kits and 500 bread ovens.

Since June 2016, the organization’s Emergency Unit, responding to the Mosul Corridor in Iraq, has also distributed 62,678 NFI kits, 38,438 kerosene vouchers and fuel assistance kits, 14,415 sealing off-kits and 5,988 emergency shelter kits.

According to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), an estimated 837,900 individuals (139,650 families) remain displaced while 239,544 IDPs have now returned, with an estimated 80 per cent going back to their districts of origin in East Mosul.

Of all the IDPs currently displaced by the Mosul operations, over 351,978 (or 42 per cent) live in camps and emergency sites around Mosul. IOM’s emergency sites host nearly 22 per cent of these individuals.

IOM’s DTM actively monitors displacement across Iraq. 

DTM products and information about DTM methodology can be found on the DTM portal at: http://iraqdtm.iom.int/EmergencyTracking.aspx

The latest DTM Emergency Tracking figures on displacement from Mosul are available at:

Video taken by RART, compiled by Raber Aziz: https://youtu.be/Uw5NRy1XLWs

Still photos by RART's Elham Mohamad Taher: http://medialib.iom.int/galleries/177/iom-distributes-nonfood-items-in-b...

For further information, please contact IOM Iraq:
Hala Jaber, Tel: +964 751 740 1654, Email: hjaberbent@iom.int
Sandra Black, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: sblack@iom.int

Posted: Friday, August 4, 2017 - 16:32Image: Region-Country: IraqDefault: Multimedia: 

A child recently displaced from Tal Afar waits for humanitarian assistance. Photo: Elham Mohamad Taher / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

You can find more images here

IOM staff distributes non-food items. Photo: Elham Mohamad Taher / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

You can find more images here

Video taken by Rapid Assessment Response Team (RART) and compiled by Raber Aziz / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categorie: Press Room IOM

Migrants Crossing US-Mexico Border Dying at Faster Rate in 2017: UN Migration Agency

IOM - News - Ven, 08/04/2017 - 10:50

Berlin – A new briefing from the Berlin-based Missing Migrants Project (MMP) at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre shows that migrants crossing the United States-Mexico border are dying at a faster rate in 2017 than in past years.

Reported MMP’s Julia Black this week: “Some 232 migrant fatalities have been recorded in the first seven months of 2017, an increase of 17 per cent compared with the 204 deaths recorded between January and July 2016.”

Black added: “Fifty bodies were recorded as discovered in July, the most recorded in any month so far this year,” explaining that these remains were located across the border region. “Nine were recorded in various locations along the Río Grande; ten in a truck in San Antonio, Texas; and 16 in other locations in Texas.”

Fifteen more were recovered in Arizona’s Pima County, a notoriously dangerous crossing, where seasonal temperatures regularly soar above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) between the months of May and September. So far in 2017, 96 bodies have been recovered in Pima County.

Said Black, “These numbers are especially concerning considering that, according to US Border Patrol figures, fewer migrants seem to be crossing into the US in 2017. The US Border Patrol has apprehended 140,024 migrants between January and June 2017, about half the number recorded in the first six months of 2016.”

The briefing reports that IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded more than 1,250 migrant fatalities on the US-Mexico border since 2014.  

MMP staffers note each one of these deaths are individual tragedies that serve as reminders of the many migrants who continue to risk their lives pursuing their “Sueño Americano” – or American Dream.

Though the story of the ten migrants who lost their lives trapped in the back of a tractor-trailer in Texas on Sunday was widely covered in English- and Spanish-language media, most of the deaths recorded in the border region occur in ones and twos. Those deaths, recorded almost daily during summer months, rarely make headlines.

The most recent incident recorded on the border region was the death of a five-year-old child migrant drowned in the Río Grande near Tamaulipas, Mexico, on Wednesday. Reports indicate that the child’s father also went missing during the river crossing.

Many of those pursuing el Sueño Americano travel from Mexico to Texas, meaning that they must cross the swift-flowing Río Grande to reach the US. The briefing reports that in 2017, 57 people have drowned in the border river, a 54 per cent increase over the 37 deaths recorded in the Río Grande between January and July 2016. IOM’s office in Mexico reports that is likely due to the heavy rainfall in recent months, which has made the river faster and deeper. However, the increase in migrant deaths in other areas on the border, such as the Arizona desert, remains unexplained.

Though migrant fatalities on the US-Mexico border represent 65 per cent of the total number recorded in the Americas, it is likely that many migrant deaths occur in Central and Southern America that go unrecorded. Notably, several bodies, presumed to be migrants, were seen floating off the coast of Nicaragua on Tuesday; another migrant was killed near Oaxaca, Mexico on Sunday after being struck by a train; another, from El Salvador, was the victim of a stabbing.

The briefing reports that the true number of migrant fatalities in 2017 is likely to be higher than the data from Missing Migrants Project indicate. “It’s something that is true for all regions of the world, unfortunately,” concluded Black.

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, August 4, 2017 - 16:31Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: Migration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 115,109 in 2017; 2,397 Deaths

IOM - News - Ven, 08/04/2017 - 10:49

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 115,109 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 2 August, with almost 83 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 261,228 arrivals across the region through 2 August 2016.

IOM Rome reports that according to official figures of the Italian MOI, 95,215 migrants arrived in Italy by sea this year, which is slightly (2.73 per cent) fewer than last year during the same period, when 97,892 arrived, highlighting a trend that IOM has observed of slower traffic to Italy during mid-summer, and fewer deaths (approximately half of those recorded in July 2015 and 2016).

Italian authorities this week released the latest roster of top-ten nationalities to arrive as migrants traveling by sea from Africa through the end of July. (See chart below.) Nigeria continues to be the year’s top sender nation with 15,317 arrivals, followed by Bangladesh (8,687), Guinea (8,631), Cote d’Ivoire (7,905) and Mali (5,526). Bangladesh, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire and Morocco continue to show sharp increases over levels of arrivals at this time last year. Those countries that now are sending fewer migrants include Eritrea – down more than 50 per cent from 2016 – with slighter decreases as well for Nigeria, Sudan and the Gambia.

IOM’s Flavio Di Giacomo further noted total arrivals by sea to Italy during the month of July came to 11,461, a decrease of more than 50 per cent compared with the total registered in July 2016: 23,552. (See chart below.)


IOM Athens reported Thursday that 73 migrants and refugees arrived at various Greek locations (Lesvos, Rhodes, Megisti) between 31 July and 2 August. The total number of arrivals by sea to Greece as of 2 August is 11,353. This compares with 160,515 at this time last year.

The latest fatalities in the region were reported on Tuesday (1 August) when eight corpses were recovered on a dinghy off the Libyan coast – it is likely the migrants died from asphyxiation on board. They are expected to be brought to land in Italy on Friday.

These deaths bring the total of fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2017 to 2,397. Although this figure trails the number of deaths (3,193) recorded at this time last year, it nonetheless marks the fourth consecutive year migrant deaths in the Mediterranean Sea have exceeded 2,350.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 3,408 fatalities in 2017 through 2 August (see chart below) with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – over two-thirds of the global total.

Among the newly confirmed fatalities from MMP are: 8 deaths at the US/Mexico border (1 drowning in Rio Bravo and 7 bodies found in Pima County, Arizona), 9 deaths in the Mediterranean (8 bodies found in a dinghy off the coast of Libya and one body recovered south of Tarifa, Spain), and 6 deaths in Central America (one train accident in Oaxaca, one violent incident in Chiapas, and a shipwreck off the coast of Diriamba, Nicaragua: one body has been found and at least 3 other migrants are missing).

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/170804_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 more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@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
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

Language English Posted: Friday, August 4, 2017 - 16:30Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Burundi’s Diaspora Week Underway with Partnership, Development Focus

IOM - News - Ven, 08/04/2017 - 10:48

Bujumbura – Burundi’s second national Diaspora week is taking place from 1-4 August in the country’s capital organized by the Ministry of External Relations and International Cooperation. Diaspora and officials will also visit selected rural villages throughout Burundi. All events focus on the theme of “Burundi and its Diaspora: Partnership for Integrated Development”.

The aim of Diaspora Week is to have dialogue on diaspora and development, in order to build opportunities for diaspora to play a role in promoting trade and foreign direct investment, creating businesses and encouraging entrepreneurship.

This is in addition to being senders of remittances and transferring knowledge and skills.

Over the course of the week more than 200 participants will have been brought together from Burundian Diaspora Associations in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Italy, Netherlands, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States and Zambia. Non-governmental Organizations and government partners, public and private sector partners will also take part in the events.

This week of events builds on Burundi’s strategic framework set out in the National Diaspora Policy and the Policy on Migration, the creation of which IOM, the UN Migration Agency, supported. 

The tripartite project (Régie National des Postes du Burundi, Universal Postal Union and IOM), "Migration and Development" integrated postal project on remittances, will also be presented to inform the Burundian diaspora of a money transfer channel to send money and promote exchange through post offices throughout the country. 

This week will contribute to raising of awareness on migration and development, which benefits the diaspora, communities, countries of origin and host countries, paving a way forward to sustainable development.

Diaspora week is open to media and the public.

For more information, please contact Jiraporn Supha in IOM Burundi, Tel: +257 75 40 04 45, Email: jsupha@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 4, 2017 - 16:29Image: Region-Country: BurundiThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Burundian government officials, diaspora members, the IOM Chief of Mission and diplomatic representatives discuss Diaspora Week. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Burundian Diaspora members and distinguished guests from diplomatic mission attend the opening ceremony of Diaspora Week 2017. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categorie: Press Room IOM

Sudanese Criminal Justice System Works with UN Migration Agency to Fight Human Trafficking

IOM - News - Ven, 08/04/2017 - 10:46

Khartoum – Over the past two weeks a 10-day training for 20 senior-level judges, lawyers and police officers, on investigating and prosecuting human trafficking cases, took place at the Sudan Judicial and Legal Science Institute.

The workshop, a joint venture between IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Institute was held as part of the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth’s Office (UKFCO) funded project: Strengthening the Capacity of the Criminal Justice System in Sudan to Address Human Trafficking. It follows on from the Curriculum Development Workshop held in May 2017.

The training curriculum was developed by 20 participants representing the Sudan Judiciary, the Criminal Prosecution Officer, the Office of the Attorney General, Law Enforcement Branches, and the Ministry of Justice, as well as social workers. Over the next few months, the new curriculum will be used to train judges, lawyers and police officers throughout Sudan on effective investigation and prosecution of human trafficking.

“There were also a lot of practical exercises in the workshop, which has solidified the complex information being discussed,” said Amal Taha Husein, an independent lawyer and participant.

At the closing ceremony held to formally launch and endorse the new training curriculum, Waleed Husein Eltayeb, from the Police Training Authority expressed his appreciation to the workshop stating that it had a “multitude of benefits such as the collaboration of such a diverse group of government counterparts.”

“Seeing such Government involvement through the level of participation in this workshop is evidence of the Government of Sudan’s commitment to the 2014 Combatting Human Trafficking Act and its seriousness in making the Act a reality with emphasis on the importance of human rights in Sudan,” said Howayda Awad Elkarim from the Ministry of Justice.

The workshop was designed and facilitated by Phil Marshall, IOM Sudan’s international expert on anti-trafficking, Rifaat Makkawi, national legal expert and defense lawyer, and Omer Saad, national psychosocial expert. The curriculum for the training program will be complemented by the continued development of training materials targeting legal practitioners.

For more information, please contact Andrew Gray in IOM Sudan, Tel: +249-156554, Email: ajgray@iom.int


Language English Posted: Friday, August 4, 2017 - 16:20Image: Region-Country: SudanThemes: Capacity BuildingCounter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants of the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the Sudan Judicial and Legal Science Institute training on investigating and prosecuting human trafficking cases. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categorie: Press Room IOM