Press Room IOM
Switzerland - Ahead of this week’s informal meeting of EU Justice and Home Affairs ministers, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) urges European Union (EU) Member States to reinvigorate cooperation in the shared interest of saving more lives in the Mediterranean, and to help Member States on the EU’s southern border to receive, assist and accommodate people rescued at sea.
“Starting with Mare Nostrum, Italy has consistently shown its will and determination to deploy the means and capacities to save lives and handle the hundreds of thousands of people arriving at its shores over the past several years across the Mediterranean, and in the process, have saved several hundred thousands of lives,” said IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing.
“The reception of rescued migrants cannot be seen as an issue only for Italy, but a matter for Europe as a whole,” he added.
Eugenio Ambrosi, IOM Regional Director for the EU in Brussels, said that the absolute priority in the event of interception at sea is the swift disembarkation of those rescued to a “place of safety” according to applicable international law, to save and preserve lives.
“States must organize this solidarity before, during and after disembarkation – this is the overriding concern in respecting the rule of law – and to save lives, while preserving the interests of host communities as well,” he said.
IOM also recognizes and commends the tireless lifesaving work of the NGOs performing rescue at sea which accounted for up to 40 per cent of the rescues in the Central Mediterranean last year. IOM therefore stresses that they should be able to continue work unimpeded, in accordance with international and maritime law. Any changes should be well coordinated so as not to affect their ability to carry out rescue work in the absence of more robust EU-coordinated rescue at sea operations and mandates.
IOM reiterates that the EU cannot continue to deal with the situation in a ‘crisis’ mode, and sees no alternative to tackling the larger structural issues with greater priority, longer-term measures and intensified cooperation from Europe as a whole.
Nearly 12,000 migrants have been rescued and brought to Italy since 24 June alone; however, the IOM office in Rome reports that this is not the first time this number of arrivals has been registered in a short period of time.
IOM also reports that arrivals in June 2017 (23,411) are similar to arrivals in June 2016 (22,371) and June 2015 (22,877), which indicates that there is no dramatic increase in arrivals at this time.
As of 3 July, 85,183 migrants had been rescued in 2017. Arrivals to Italy are up around 19 per cent over last year, but in line with a generally stable trend over the last few years.
Migrant fatalities in the Mediterranean are estimated to be at least 2,247 so far this year, well on the way to match last year’s record number of deaths, which exceeded 5,000 men, women and children.
To date, 7,354 people have been relocated to other EU Member States from Italy under the EU Relocation Programme.
For further information, please contact Leonard Doyle at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 285 7123, Email: email@example.com; Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or Ryan Schroeder at IOM’s EU Regional Office in Brussels, Tel: +32 2287 7116, Email: email@example.comPosted: Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - 16:38Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:
Italian Coast Guard rescues migrants and refugees bound for Italy. File photo: IOM/Francesco Malavolta 2014
Ethiopia - On 29 June 2017, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, assisted the voluntary return of 37 stranded Ethiopian migrants, who were held by Kenyan authorities for unlawful entry and presence in the country.
Organized in collaboration with the Government of Kenya and the Ethiopian Embassy in Nairobi, the voluntary return was jointly funded by the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF), Better Migration Management (BMM) and the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).
The 37 Ethiopian migrants entered Kenya through the Moyale border and intended to reach South Africa via the “Southern Route,” transiting Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi. IOM was approached by the Embassy of Ethiopia in Kenya to extend its assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) services to the group.
In close coordination with the Ethiopian Embassy and Kenyan immigration and police officials, IOM staff assessed all 37 migrants in order to determine their specific needs and profiles, such as special medical requirements. All migrants passed the assessment, declared medically fit to travel, and were provided with food and core relief items in preparation for their voluntary return to Ethiopia.
The Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat estimates that between 14,750 and 16,850 individuals leave the Horn of Africa annually via the “Southern Route.” Of those, an estimated 13,400 to 14,050 Somalis and Ethiopians entered South Africa irregularly in both 2015 and 2016.
Their hazardous and protracted journeys involve the irregular crossing of land and water borders of more than five countries (often with the aid of smugglers), prior to arrival at the intended final destination: South Africa. Some migrants are abused along the way, while others face obstacles like illness en route, dehydration, starvation and suffocation as a result of using means of transport with little or no ventilation.
The journey usually involves traversing semi-arid and wilderness areas, often at night, in order to avoid detection by authorities.
This voluntary return operation was made possible through the PRM-funded programme Regional Mixed Migration Program for the Horn of Africa and Yemen, and the EUTF/BMM programme. The Regional Mixed Migration Program provides assistance to vulnerable migrants and works to build the capacity of authorities addressing migration issues in the region. The BMM programme arises from the Khartoum Process that aims at facilitating safe, orderly and humane migration. IOM is implementing the BMM programme in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.KenyaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia:
IOM staff member provides post arrival briefing to returnees at Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017
Switzerland - United Nations entities recall that a central principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to “ensure that no one is left behind” and to “reach the furthest behind first”. Recognizing that discrimination in health care settings is a major barrier to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), United Nations entities commit to working together to support Member States in taking coordinated multisectoral action to eliminate discrimination in health care settings.
Discrimination in health care settings is widespread across the world and takes many forms. It violates the most fundamental human rights protected in international treaties and in national laws and constitutions.
Discrimination in health care settings is directed towards some of the most marginalized and stigmatized populations – the very populations that States promised to prioritize through the 2030 Agenda, and who are all too often excluded or left behind. Many individuals and groups face discrimination on the basis of their age, sex, race or ethnicity, health status, disability or vulnerability to ill health, sexual orientation or gender identity, nationality, asylum or migration
status, or criminal record, often experiencing intersecting or compounding forms of discrimination.
Discrimination affects both users of health care services and health care workers. It serves as a barrier to accessing health services, affects the quality of health services provided, and reinforces exclusion from society for both individuals and groups.
Discrimination in health care settings takes many forms and is often manifested when an individual or group is denied access to health care services that are otherwise available to others. It can also occur through denial of services that are only needed by certain groups, such as women. Examples include specific individuals or groups being subjected to physical and verbal abuse or violence; involuntary treatment; breaches of confidentiality and/or denial of autonomous decision-making, such as the requirement of consent to treatment by parents, spouses or guardians; and lack of free and informed consent.
It is also present in the entrenched gender-based discrimination within the largely female health workforce, as evidenced by physical and sexual violence, wage gaps, irregular salaries, lack of formal employment, and inability to participate in leadership and decision-making.
National laws, policies and practices can also foster and perpetuate discrimination in health care settings, prohibiting or discouraging people from seeking the broad range of health care services they may need. Some laws run counter to established public health evidence and human rights standards. Evidence demonstrates the harmful health and human rights impacts of such laws.
Addressing discrimination in health care settings will contribute to the achievement of many of the SDGs, ensuring that no one is left behind. It is fundamental to securing progress towards SDG 3, Good health and well being, including achieving universal health coverage and ending the AIDS and tuberculosis epidemics; SDG 4, Quality education; SDG 5, Gender equality and women’s empowerment; SDG 8, Decent work and inclusive economic growth; SDG 10, Reduced inequalities; and SDG 16, Peace, justice and strong institutions.
States have an immediate legal obligation to address discrimination. While States bear this primary duty, a multistakeholder and multisectoral response, including a coordinated effort from the United Nations system, is urgently required. Together we must end discrimination in health care settings.
We, the signatory United Nations entities, call upon all stakeholders to join us in committing to taking targeted, coordinated, time-bound, multisectoral actions in the following areas:
Supporting States to put in place guarantees against discrimination in law, policies, and regulations by:
- Reviewing and strengthening laws to prohibit discrimination in the provision and distribution of health care services, as well as in relation to education and employment in the health sector. Laws and policies must respect the principles of autonomy in health care decision-making; guarantee free and informed consent, privacy and confidentiality; prohibit mandatory HIV testing; prohibit screening procedures that are not of benefit to the individual or the public; and ban involuntary treatment and mandatory third-party authorization and notification requirements. All stakeholders should support the clear dissemination, implementation, and monitoring of adherence to such laws and regulations and their translation into policies and practice.
- Reviewing and repealing punitive laws that have been proven to have negative health outcomes and that counter established public health evidence. These include laws that criminalize or otherwise prohibit gender expression, same sex conduct, adultery and other sexual behaviours between consenting adults; adult consensual sex work; drug use or possession
- of drugs for personal use; sexual and reproductive health care services, including information; and overly broad criminalization of HIV non-disclosure, exposure or transmission.
- Reviewing, strengthening, implementing and monitoring health professional policies, regulations, standards, working conditions and ethics, for the prohibition of discrimination on all grounds in connection to health care settings.
Supporting measures to empower health workers and users of health services through attention to and realization of their rights, roles and responsibilities by:
- Ensuring that the labour rights and standards of health workers, including in the area of occupational safety and health, are fully respected, protected, and fulfilled, and that health workers are free from discrimination and violence in the workplace. Particular attention should be paid to the gendered nature of the health workforce, including through ensuring gender-sensitive sectoral and facility-level policies and health professional regulations operationalizing decent work, gender equality, and formal employment of the health workforce. Health workers should be supported in upholding their legal and ethical responsibilities, including with respect to advancing human rights, and their role as human rights defenders should be protected.
- Providing pre-service and in-service education to the health workforce on their rights, roles, and responsibilities related to addressing discrimination in health care settings. Policies, programmes and budgets need to provide for a diverse workforce, including through strengthening educational admission criteria and promoting health workforce educational and career development opportunities for women, youth and persons from rural and marginalized communities.
- Empowering users of health care services so that they are aware of and able to demand their rights. This will enable them to hold those responsible accountable for discrimination-free health care settings through rights literacy, patient charters, social accountability monitoring, community support, and other tools.
Supporting accountability and compliance with the principle of non-discrimination in health care settings by:
- Guaranteeing access to effective mechanisms of redress and accountability. This involves development and implementation of individual, tailor-made remedies and redress procedures for victims of violations, and constructive systems of accountability in health and other sectors to prevent future violations.
- Strengthening mechanisms for reporting, monitoring and evaluation of discrimination. This can be achieved through support for the building and sharing of the evidence base and ensuring the participation of affected communities and health workers in the development of health policies.
Implementing the United Nations Shared Framework for Action on Combating Inequalities and Discrimination by:
- Providing sector-specific and joint guidance and practical tools to raise awareness of human rights standards for non-discrimination as they apply to health care settings.
Switzerland — The UN Migration Agency (IOM) is inviting professional and emerging filmmakers to submit perception-changing films about the migrant experience for the second annual Global Migration Film Festival (5–18 December).
The Global Migration Film Festival showcases films that capture the promise and challenges of migration for those who leave their homes in search of a better life and the unique contributions migrants make to their new communities.
In 2016, the inaugural festival took place in 89 countries. Nearly 10,000 people attended 220 screenings at cinemas, universities, cultural institutions and other venues. The festival hosted 13 films and documentaries, as well as 200 short films about and by migrants.
“The journeys migrants take, sometimes full of peril, often full of hope, have been the subject of films throughout the history of cinema,” says IOM Director General William Lacy Swing. “We hope the films at our next festival will instill understanding, empathy with characters, awe at their journeys and admiration for those who welcome their new neighbors.”
Categories, awards and submission information
- The film submission period is from 03 July to 17 September, 2017.
- Festival themes: the promise and challenge of migration and the positive contributions migrants make to their new communities.
- Professional filmmakers working in all genres are invited to submit films of at least 25 minutes in length for consideration.
- Emerging filmmakers from 92 select countries are invited to submit films of at least 25 minutes in length for both the festival and a competition. A committee of international film professionals will select three standout productions, and each winner will receive $1,500.
- Filmmakers from 92 select countries who have migrated in their lifetime are invited to submit a short video about their own experience, or a profile of other migrants, to become part of IOM’s global i am a migrant campaign. These videos will also be considered for screening at the 2017 film festival.
- Festival locations, dates and selected films will be announced in October 2017.
- Visit IOM’s website for more details about categories, awards and submission guidelines.
The Global Migration Film Festival is a partner of Plural+ and the UN campaign, TOGETHER, which aim to change negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants.
For more details about IOM’s Global Migration Film Festival and the i am a migrant campaign, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Media queries, email: email@example.com
For information on how to become a partner, sponsor or festival co-host, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
UN Migration Agency Warns African Youth Conference about Dangers of Misinformed Discussions on Migration
South Africa – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, urged youth leaders, during the Annual African Youth Conference (AAYC) on Social Justice and Democracy, to become advocates for more informed discussions on the nature and causes of migration from Africa.
Beginning Friday, 30 June, the four-day event’s overarching theme was, “The G20 and The Global Order of the Rich, for the Rich, by the Rich?” The Conference brought together 40 youth leaders from the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Youth Leadership Programs in East, West and Southern Africa representing progressive political parties, trade unions, civil society organizations and social movements.
IOM regional thematic specialists for the African region attending the conference stressed the need to counter media portrayals of African migration as being primarily driven by poverty and conflict, and mainly Europe-bound. Jason Theede and Claudia Natali pointed out that migration from Africa to Europe is not a new phenomenon, and that migration in the region continues to be predominantly between African countries.
“It’s imperative to move from false stereotypes to informed empirical research about the continent,” said Theede, Senior Regional Thematic Specialist in Southern Africa, during his presentation on trends, patterns and drivers of African migration. He cited the 2015 Migration Report from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division (UNDESA), which found that Africans comprise only 34 million, or 14 per cent of the 244 million international migrants worldwide.
Theede commented that one of the G20 topics this year, “Flight and Migration”, highlights the influence that media coverage has when focusing on massive flows of migrants and refugees crossing the Mediterranean.
The UNDESA report shows that 52 per cent of African migrants (18 million) live in a country in the same region from where they came. “Migration in Africa has been and still is predominantly intra-regional; promoting and facilitating youth mobility within the continent holds a tremendous development potential for the continent,” said Natali, Regional Labour Migration Thematic Specialist in West Africa, in the plenary session entitled, ‘Migration Within and Out of Africa’.
The Conference builds on the themes and outcomes of the FES Youth Leadership Programs in 15 countries and three Regional Economic Communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Over the past ten years, more than 2,000 young men and women have participated in these programmes.
IOM’s tools, such as the Regional Guide to Facilitate South-South Labour Mobility in Southern Africa, along with its support to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) commission to implement the free movement protocol, provide strategic information for facilitating intra-African labour mobility. In terms of awareness-raising, global campaigns such as I am a Migrant help dispel the myths that tarnish perceptions about migrants, including African men and women, by sharing stories about their journeys as well as their contributions to countries both of origin and destination.
For further information, please contact Jorge Galindo, Labour Mobility and Human Development Division, IOM HQ, Tel: +417179205, Email: email@example.comPosted: Monday, July 3, 2017 - 12:43Image: Region-Country: South AfricaDefault: Multimedia:
Young children celebrate 2016 International Migrants Day in Egypt
Democratic Republic of the Congo - The UN Migration Agency (IOM), through its USAID-funded Responsible Minerals Trade programme, provided support to the export of conflict-free and traceable artisanal gold from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to Europe’s gold refineries.
As part of this collaborative effort, IOM, through its office in the Eastern city of Bukavu, provided critical financial and technical support to the NGO Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) to set up a model trading counter in Mambasa, Ituri Province. Gold bought from this counter emanates from artisanal mines validated by IOM. Government taxes are paid and the benefit to mining communities from the artisanal sector is assured.
This initiative also supports efforts by the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and its member states to put a regional certification mechanism into place that allows the export of clean gold.
The Just Gold pilot project, which was initiated in 2015, encourages artisanal gold miners to channel their production through model trading counters by offering fair and transparent pricing. It also provides technical assistance to miners to improve their techniques, and to limit the impact of artisanal mining on local populations and the environment.
For the past five years, IOM’s USAID-funded Responsible Minerals Trade programme has strengthened the capacity of the Congolese Government to regulate its trade in the strategic minerals of tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold (3Ts+G) in pilot mining areas. It has also validated conflict-free mineral supply chains, including the installation of eight trading counters, including one for gold in the Maniema Province.
To date, some 310 artisanal mine sites in the Eastern Congo provinces of South and North Kivu, Maniema and Katanga, Ituri and Tshopo, including 35 gold sites, have been confirmed as free from the control of armed groups. The absence of child labour and illegal taxation was also confirmed. These vetted mine sites are essential to the establishment of conflict-free supply chains that allow markets to buy conflict-free minerals, in line with national, regional and international standards. These include the Congolese laws and regulations, the ICGLR Regional Certification Mechanism, the 2010 US Dodd Frank Act, and the OECD due diligence guidance for responsible supply chains of minerals from conflict-affected and high risk areas.
For further information, please contact Maxie Muwonge, IOM Bukavu, Tel: +243 810 790 632, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPosted: Friday, June 30, 2017 - 16:47Image: Region-Country: Democratic Republic of the CongoDefault: Multimedia:
The UN Migration Agency (IOM) supports the export of conflict-free and traceable artisanal gold from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to Europe’s gold refineries. Photo: UN Migration agency (IOM) 2017
The UN Migration Agency (IOM) is helping certify mines as conflict-free and ensure profits are re-invested into the community. Photo: UN Migration agency (IOM) / Chiara Frisone 2017
Switzerland - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) reports that 95,768 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 29 June, with almost 85 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 230,230 arrivals across the region through 30 June 2016.
IOM Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo reported Thursday (29 June) that 11,639 migrants and refugees were rescued at sea between Saturday and Wednesday (24-28 June). He also reported that while total arrivals to Italy for this year along the Central Mediterranean route are running about 18 per cent ahead of last year’s totals, arrivals for the month of June are virtually identical to similar periods in 2016 and 2015. Di Giacomo said 22,907 arrivals between the dates of 1–29 June 2017 compare with 22,371 for all of June last year and 22,877 for June of 2015. So far in 2017, May has been the busiest month, with 22,993 arrivals recorded by Italian authorities (see chart below).
Kelly Namia of IOM Athens reports that through 22 to 28 June a total of 783 migrants and refugees landed on the Greek islands. About a third of that total arrived in Lesvos – which saw 257 arrivals recorded over four separate days – followed by Karpathos with 119, all of whom were recorded on 24 June.
IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported Thursday that on Wednesday, 28 June, 144 migrants were rescued off Azzawya. On the same day, the remains of 29 migrants (27 men and two women)were discovered in Tajura, east of the Libyan capital Tripoli. She said one day earlier on 27 June, 97 migrants were rescued off Zuwara, for whom IOM provided health services and food. On the same day, another rescue operation was conducted off Azzawya, during which 138 migrants were rescued at sea. She said on 29 June, the remains of one migrant were recovered off the western coastal city of Azzawya.
IOM Libya’s latest figures indicate that, so far in 2017, 10,663 migrants have been rescued in Libyan waters while remains of 336 women, men and children have been found along the coast.
Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 2,967 fatalities through 28 June (see chart below) with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – over 70 per cent of the global total.
These latest totals include the remains of six men, women and children (at least one infant) recovered in the Central Mediterranean during this past week, as well as 52 bodies retrieved off the coast of Libya since 21 June (29 recovered Thursday by the Libyan Red Crescent). Additionally, MMP has recorded four bodies found on the US side of the US-Mexico border (three in Brooks County and one in Hidalgo County, Texas), and two separate drownings in the Rio Bravo (a woman and a child, in Ojinaga, Chihuahua). At least 51 migrants were feared dead in the Sahara desert near Seguedine, Niger, an incident that did include one confirmed fatality – a rescued migrant who was found badly dehydrated, and died later.
For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/300617_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 HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: email@example.com
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelly Namia at IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: email@example.com
Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine Petré at IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: email@example.com Posted: Friday, June 30, 2017 - 16:46Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:
Burundi – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) organized a training for 20 journalists from National Radio and Television in Bujumbura, Burundi, on migration management, terminology, references and definitions to strengthen their reporting skills.
Burundi, a small landlocked country in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, has experienced a complex migration flow over the years. As in every country, journalists play a key role in helping unravel the more complex dimensions of migration for Burundi’s population. Properly informed reporting is especially critical when discussing migrants in vulnerable situations, including victims of trafficking, those suffering from mental health illnesses, and unaccompanied migrant children.
“The media are crucial social actors in promoting safe migration and understanding those in vulnerable situations,” said Kristina Mejo, IOM Burundi Chief of Mission, emphasizing the importance of media in creating a responsible and positive narrative on migration. “Migration can play a productive role if managed effectively. We all have a responsibility to uphold the dignity of every single migrant.”
“I appreciate the idea of having organized this training and the exchanges that resulted,” said Dieudonné Nkurunziza, National Radio and Television Web, following the training.
The training aimed to increase each participant’s knowledge of migration terminology and the work of IOM. Topics included migration concepts, the difference between smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons, ethical reporting in relation to confidentiality and informed consent, accurate mental health reporting, and the importance of informing migrants of fraud risks they might face.
“I am better able to understand the difference between the concepts of people smuggling and human trafficking and this will allow me to improve the quality of my reporting concerning the fight against these kinds of human rights violations,” said Haidara Hakizimana, National Radio and Television Journalist and Voice of America (VOA) Swahili Correspondent.
For further information, please contact Niamh McEvoy at IOM Burundi, Tel: +257 75 400 339, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPosted: Friday, June 30, 2017 - 16:45Image: Region-Country: BurundiDefault: Multimedia:
The UN Migration Agency (IOM) trains journalists from National Radio and Television in Bujumbura, Burundi, on migration management, terminology, references and definitions to strengthen their reporting skills. Photo: UN Migration agency (IOM)
Participants of a workshop for journalists from National Radio and Television in Bujumbura, Burundi. Photo: UN Migration agency (IOM)
UN Migration Agency Works with Governments in Eastern Europe on Ethical Recruitment, Preventing Exploitation
Washington, D.C. – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) joined InterAction's 2017 Forum bringing leading professionals from international development and humanitarian to Washington, D.C., on 20–22 June. InterAction is the US’s largest consortium of Non-Governmental Organizations focused on disaster relief and sustainable development.
During the Forum, IOM’s Assistance to Vulnerable Migrants Unit hosted a breakout session to discuss trafficking in emergency settings.
Moderated by Rick Sandoval – a veteran immigration journalist and director of 100 Reporters Agency – the panel offered an exchange of ideas and an opportunity to compare best practices in responding to trafficking and exploitation during emergency crises.
Human trafficking and exploitation often are direct consequences of crises and not mere byproducts, explained Michela Macchiavello, IOM Specialist, Assistance to Vulnerable Migrants Unit, who cited an IOM study published in 2015. Macchiavello stressed that both human trafficking and exploitation can be “a matter of life and livelihood for victims. For this reason, they need to be given from the outset as much priority as any other crisis response.”
Following the recommendations of this study, IOM is now developing a Global Strategy to fight trafficking and exploitation in crisis. This will allow actors to address such crimes systematically and strengthen IOM’s capacity as well as the ability of first responders, from both the humanitarian and development communities, to respond to these violations in the future.
Too often, victims might not be visible at the beginning of the crisis. One reason for this: the destruction of traditional protection mechanisms that hold sway before a crisis. Therefore, it is vital to start addressing the issue even when victims are not yet visible.
“Victims will surface possibly a few weeks or months into the crisis but by then it may be too late to help them! Larger numbers of victims will have been affected by trafficking, some beyond recovery, and the crime will have expanded much more than if we had acted at the very outset of the crisis,” explained Macchiavello.
Authorities also have key roles to play in mitigating trafficking during crises. “We encourage governments to build the necessary foundations to combat trafficking and to raise awareness of human trafficking indicators among first responders before a crisis hits,” said Greg Hermsmeyer, Senior Coordinator for International Programs, US Department of State, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP).
He added: “In the wake of a disaster, we recommend that governments immediately implement screening measures without waiting for evidence of trafficking, which takes too long.”
The Department of State’s TIP Office has funded numerous IOM projects on counter-trafficking and exploitation in areas affected by conflict and crisis, including in the Philippines post-Hurricane Haiyan, in the Balkans, and in several African countries.
The UN Migration Agency (IOM) has been protecting and assisting victims of trafficking since the mid-nineties. By the end of 2016, it had assisted close to 90,000 victims worldwide.
Despite efforts by the humanitarian and development communities to address trafficking in situations of crisis, more needs to be done.
“There is a protection gap in the current UN response system through which the needs of the victims of trafficking remain unaddressed. This is why activities addressing human trafficking and exploitation of migrants and refugees need to be included systematically in humanitarian responses to crises,” IOM’s Macchiavello concluded.
For further information, please contact Hajer Naili, IOM Washington. Tel: +1 202 568 3757, Email: email@example.comPosted: Friday, June 30, 2017 - 16:44Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaDefault: Multimedia:
A child survivor of trafficking in Cambodia. File Photo: John Vink / UN Migration agency (IOM) 2005
Austria – After more than a decade of net emigration, during which young people from Eastern Europe headed to wealthier Western European countries in large numbers, a recent shift has occurred – and gone largely unnoticed by those outside the region.
Many East European countries have begun to experience critical labour shortages in various sectors and are looking farther east to countries such as Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia to fill these gaps.
As the largest economy in the region, Poland has led the way in bringing in foreign workers, with an estimate of over one million Ukrainians arriving in Poland in the past 12 months, primarily seeking jobs. But other countries in the region are also seeing growth, with the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia and Bulgaria seeking foreign workers to meet labour market needs.
This increase in the rate of labour migration comes with great opportunities for workers, employers and societies in countries of origin and destination, but also carries a significant risk for migrant workers and their families.
The UN Migration Agency (IOM) is working with governments in the region to address these challenges and ensure labour mobility programmes are in place that result in positive outcomes for all.
In Georgia, for example, IOM is helping the Government build capacity in labour migration management, develop strategies aimed at ensuring responsible recruitment and protection of its nationals, and improve bilateral cooperation with neighbouring countries to regulate intermediary recruitment agencies and avoid exploitation in supply chains.
Likewise, as more Ukrainian workers head toward Eastern European destinations, the Ukrainian Government is working to develop programmes and mechanisms to better manage and facilitate the process, with IOM’s support.
IOM’s office in Poland has been working directly with Polish employers to build their knowledge of legal procedures for hiring foreign workers, as well as best practices in managing a diverse and multicultural workforce. IOM’s Warsaw office has held over 60,000 consultations with migrant workers and maintains a widely used, multi-language info-line and website for migrant workers with important and practical information, including local laws, rights of workers, health insurance, educational opportunities and tax laws.
“Following the exponential growth in labour migration in the region, we have seen growing interest among governments of countries of origin and destination to collaborate and better manage labour mobility, so that it remains mutually beneficial and protects the rights of migrant workers,” says Michael Newson, a Labour Mobility Specialist at IOM´s Regional Office in Vienna.
Newson says the growth in labour migration in the region is likely to continue as mobility regulations ease, including the recent visa-free status of Georgia and Ukraine. In the near term, IOM aims to capitalize on the momentum in Eastern Europe to effectively manage labour mobility for mutual benefit and build on its already successful partnerships in the region.
For further information, contact Joe Lowry at IOM Vienna, Tel: +43 660 3776404, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPosted: Friday, June 30, 2017 - 16:43Image: Region-Country: AustriaDefault:
Kenya – Yesterday (29/06), the UN Migration Agency (IOM) launched Send Money & Invest in Kenya: A Guide for Diaspora Remittances & Investments, in partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The booklet targets the Kenyan diaspora and provides tips for sending money home through safe, affordable and convenient channels. It also gives guidance on how local savings, payments, donations and investments can be made while abroad.
During the launch, Jane Mwangi, Managing Director of Diaspora Interlink, pointed to research which shows that Kenyans abroad often identify information gaps about affordable transfer channels and investment opportunities as key challenges. Fears of being defrauded also factor high in their concerns.
The guide addresses many of these concerns by providing tips and information, which cover sending money, making payments and investing in Kenya. A key theme in the guide is the role that technology is playing in increasing convenience, supporting autonomy and cutting down costs.
Washington Oloo, Director of the Diaspora and Consular Affairs Directorate, stressed that diaspora remittances and other resources “are of immense importance to the Kenyan economy, with an estimated USD 1.6 billion remitted in 2015.” He highlighted that the Government of Kenya is committed to working with all stakeholders to empower Kenyans abroad to invest back home.
A wide variety of stakeholders attended the event, including diaspora organizations, the African Institute for Remittances (AIR), the GSMA Foundation, money transfer operators, commercial banks, research and policy outfits and Government of Kenya officials.
The guide was developed with the technical support of the ACP-EU Migration Action, an initiative launched by the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) Secretariat, funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
For further information, please contact Noni Munge at IOM Nairobi, Tel: +254 20 4221 368, Email: email@example.comPosted: Friday, June 30, 2017 - 16:42Image: Region-Country: KenyaDefault: Multimedia:
Germany — The annual Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) has opened with commitment from high level officials to advance global migration governance and leverage the development and economic benefits of migration.
With Germany and Morocco as the Forum’s current co-chairs, the three-day summit kicked off at Berlin’s Federal Foreign Office with remarks by Germany’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sigmar Gabriel, and the Kingdom of Morocco’s Secretary General and Ministry Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, El Habib Nadir.
“Only collective action and renewed cooperation based on shared responsibility and development can maximize the positive effects of migration on host countries, countries of origin and on migrants themselves,” said Mr. Nadir.
Other speakers at the opening ceremony included the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for International Migration, Louise Arbour, the Director General of the International Organization for Migration, William Lacy Swing, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, and the Director-General of the International Labour Organization, Guy Ryder.
The event anticipates the participation of more than 700 policymakers and practitioners from 140 states, international organizations, civil society and the private sector.
Attendees will focus on the theme, “Towards a Global Social Contract on Migration and Development,” and more specifically on balancing the best interests of migrants and their countries of origin, transit and destination, within the goal of safe, dignified and well-managed migration.
Outcomes of the summit will feed into the ongoing process of forging a “Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,” a framework for effective migration governance to be adopted by the United Nations in 2018.
The Global Forum on Migration and Development was set up by the United Nations in 2007 to be an informal, non-binding, voluntary and government-led venue for high-level discussions on policies, challenges and opportunities of the “migration-development nexus.” The Berlin summit marks the culmination of more than a decade of international dialogue and cooperation on migration and development.
Follow the discussions on the Forum’s social media accounts:
Facebook, Twitter and Youtube Please use hashtags: #GFMD10 and #GMFD2017
Download the GFMD Mobile Application (Android | iOS)
For more information, contact Ace Dela Cruz, firstname.lastname@example.orgPosted: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - 16:29Image: Region-Country: GermanyDefault: Multimedia:
‘Migration is an Urban Affair,’ IOM Director General Tells Global Mayoral Forum on Human Mobility, Migration and Development
Germany – Meeting in Berlin this week (26-27 June) for the 4th Global Mayoral Forum on Human Mobility, Migration and Development, William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General, will urge delegates to “stay connected with each other and with us as you continue to embrace migrants and their communities as key players in your efforts to build cohesive and prosperous societies.”
The Director General of the UN Migration Agency will stress three points in his remarks ending the two-day conference:
- Migration is essentially an urban affair.
- Migration to cities brings both challenges and opportunities.
- Partnerships and sharing of good practices is the way forward.
Director General Swing will remind delegates that migration is driving much of the increase in urbanization across the planet, making cities more diverse and connecting communities within and across borders. He will explain that at least three quarters of migrants, by conservative estimates, live in cities and that nearly one in five of all migrants live in the world’s top 20 largest cities, including Sydney, London and New York, each a city where migrants represent over a third of the population.
“We need to better connect innovative policies and practices developed by cities with wider migration management tools and practices. This would greatly contribute to enriching the way we govern migration. Local authorities are at the forefront of the management of migration, and they face increasing challenges and opportunities.”
The Director General of the UN Migration Agency will explain, too, that increased large scale migration to urban centres is inevitable due to enduring global demographics, among them the aging societies of richer nations which attract migrants from lands with slow and uneven economic growth. He will note that this occurs across regions with growing economies and not just in places facing humanitarian crises due to violence and natural disasters.
This latest meeting of the Global Mayoral Forum on Human Mobility, Migration and Development was hosted by Mayor Michael Muller of Berlin and organized by IOM and partners UNITAR, the UN Joint Migration and Development Initiative, the World Bank KNOMAD and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and included panels featuring mayors and other representatives from nearly 50 of the world’s leading cities.
The IOM Director General will remind delegates of the progress already being made across the continents in integrating new communities into large cities. He will stress the relevant frameworks and tools now available to help local authorities become active partners in migration management thanks to IOM’s many initiatives. The Migration Governance Framework (MiGOF) is one example – a framework that has been appropriated for use by local governments through the ‘Urban MiGOF’, a tool IOM has developed that can be used to facilitate consultation and consensus between various levels of the government and other partners.
“We must recognize the positive role of migrants in cities and urban areas. Migrants do not simply take advantage of the benefits that cities have to offer. They are active participants and contributors to the development of cities. Migrants the world over are valued as service providers, but they are much more than that: they are also builders of resilience for their host communities; agents of local development; as well as global ambassadors of the socio-cultural assets of the city. They are esteemed for their willingness to take risks and for their entrepreneurial flair and ability.”
For further information, please contact IOM's Joel Millman in Berlin, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: email@example.comLanguage English Posted: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 17:02Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: International and Regional CooperationMigration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia:
Denmark – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) is partnering with FXcompared, a money transfer comparison website, to build its money transfer comparison tool. The new partnership aims to help migrants find the best money transfer options when sending money home.
FXcompared is an independent online service that enables individuals and SMEs to compare international money transfer companies.
This tool will be integrated into the MigApp, the new mobile phone application under development by IOM, as well as across IOM’s websites. By adding this new feature to its app, IOM hopes to give migrants access to relevant, secure, and trusted information during their journey.
Every year migrants send over 400 billion dollars in remittances to developing countries, far exceeding the amount of overseas development assistance (ODA). These remittances contribute to basic needs such as food, health care, education and housing in migrants’ countries of origin. However, remittance transfer costs remain high for many migrants sending money to certain parts of the world.
“IOM sees this partnership as a key to the success of MigApp since it will provide MigApp users with the best information on remitting money back home, saving on the transactions and making sure more money is sent home," said Grant Robertshaw, ICT Business Relationship Manager at IOM. "Additionally, their data and intelligence arm, FXCintel, provides an unmatched level of market understanding and research supporting their overall product,” he added.
MigApp aims to offset the enormous amount of misleading and unreliable information available to people on the move by providing a central and accessible source of reliable and accurate migration information and services.
“At FXcompared, we have a strong belief in the need for transparency of information and ease of use for migrants around the world to find the best ways to send money," said Daniel Webber, FXcompared CEO. "The remittances sent often support critical family or development goals. We are delighted to be supporting the UN Migration Agency with our technology platform to help improve the lives of the billion migrants worldwide.”
The Money Transfer Comparison tool will be presented at Stand M50 at the Money 20/20, Europe’s largest FinTech event held in Copenhagen on 26-28 June.DenmarkThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia:
Ukraine Business Fair Showcases UN Migration Agency Support to Conflict-affected and Trafficking Survivors
Ukraine – Over the weekend, a market sprung up in the centre of Ukraine’s capital city. Traders came to Kyiv from all over the country. Their wares ranged from soap to honey, from toys to furniture – but everyone had one thing in common. They had all experienced unexpected journeys, whether fleeing the conflict that has cost 10,000 lives in the east, surviving human trafficking, or simply failing to find work and ending up in a difficult situation.
The 100 traders at this weekend's Business Fair on St. Sophia Square represented over 5,500 people who have been assisted by the UN Migration Agency’s Economic Empowerment Programme over the past ten years. Each has submitted a business proposal and received a small grant to bring their ideas into reality.
“Anybody can run into some bad luck and might need assistance to get back on their feed, to get shelter and a little bit of training, and look what people have been able to accomplish with just a little help from IOM and USAID. It’s really inspiring,” said US Ambassador Marie Yovanovich, touring the Fair. “Today’s event shows in very concrete ways that individuals who suffer unexpected and tragic consequences as they try to get ahead economically can and do find their way back, and even prosper.”
Originally developed to assist survivors of human trafficking, the programme was expanded to assist conflict-affected and displaced Ukrainians like Oksana, who proudly showed her traditional Ukrainian handicrafts at BizFair.
“Life has been very tough since we left our home in Luhansk,” Oksana reflected. “We left without our coats, without even a pillow and now we have to survive. We really appreciate this programme which gives us a chance to do something for ourselves.”
Manfred Profazi, IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission, explained that the Organization has been helping people not only to become more self-reliant and economically independent, “but also contribute to the life of their communities through the creation of additional work places and provision of services and goods their communities need and appreciate.”
Support for the programme over the past 10 years has come from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, the Government of Canada, the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the European Union, and the Government of Japan.
For further information, please contact Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine, Tel: +38 044 568 50 15, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgLanguage English Posted: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 17:00Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Counter-TraffickingInternally Displaced PersonsMigration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia:
US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and IOM Ukraine's Chief of Mission Manfred Profazi at IOM's Business Forum and Fair in Kyiv. "Panda" is a beneficiary of IOM's Economic Empowerment Programme for former victims of trafficking, IDPs and conflict-affected people.
Over 100 micro-entrepreneurs representing a variety of business spheres from different regions of Ukraine gathered in Kyiv for a Business Fair and Forum organized by IOM, and funded by USAID.
Over 100 micro-entrepreneurs representing a variety of business spheres from different regions of Ukraine gathered in Kyiv for a Business Fair and Forum organized by IOM, and funded by USAID.
Over 100 micro-entrepreneurs representing a variety of business spheres from different regions of Ukraine gathered in Kyiv for a Business Fair and Forum organized by IOM, and funded by USAID.
United Kingdom – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) explored the theme of “Our Shared Future” through two art projects – Portraits of Welcome and Building Tomorrow Together – as part of the 2017 Refugee Week celebrations in the United Kingdom (UK) at the Southbank Centre in London, on 24 June 2017.
IOM UK ran the second edition of it participatory arts project creating visual messages, Portraits of Welcome, by inviting members of the public to reflect on what the future may hold for our shared community. Photographer Marcia Chandra captured engaging portraits to put public faces to their thoughts for the future. Portraits and accompanying quotes were printed on the spot for participants to take away with them, and to add to a growing exhibition for the public.
“We are all wired for connection,” said Dipti Pardeshi, IOM UK Chief of Mission, when reflecting on Our Shared Future. “A shared future is a connected one. One where we value diversity as an important ingredient in a recipe that, when mixed well, makes our society richer and more satisfying.”
To further illustrate the theme of Our Shared Future, IOM UK also displayed an art installation in the shape of a tree, with materials produced by children in Lebanon and the UK, as part of the Building Tomorrow Together project.
Children from Globe Primary School, Bethnal Green, held the first UK workshop for the project in tandem with Syrian refugee children in Beirut, who were participating in an IOM Cultural Orientation session before they were relocated to the UK. All the children were encouraged to think about their identity and what a positive shared future could look like. Working thousands of miles apart, both UK and Syrian children created an inspiring collaborative tree installation, with their thoughts and messages appearing as leaves sprouting from the tree, which will continue to grow as more children in Beirut and London contribute their messages, ideas and thoughts.
“I hope to live in a house and go to school, with a playground where I can play in. I hope I can study to become a doctor, but if I can’t, I would like to be a princess,” said Lana, eight years old, at the Lebanon workshop.
For further information, please contact Christopher Gaul at IOM UK, Tel: +44 207 811 60, Email: email@example.comLanguage English Posted: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 16:59Image: Region-Country: United KingdomThemes: Diversity and IntegrationDefault: Multimedia:
Photo: © Marcia Chandra
Photo: © Marcia Chandra
Photo: © Marcia Chandra
Photo: © Marcia Chandra
Egypt – Last week, in Egypt, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) launched “Aware Migrants”, a multicultural information sharing campaign focusing on migration and awareness raising. The campaign is supported by the Egyptian National Coordinating Committee on Combating and Preventing Illegal Migration and Trafficking in Persons (NCCPIM&TIP) and funded by the Italian Ministry of Interior.
The campaign aims to sensitize potential migrants to the dangers of irregular journeys across the desert and the Mediterranean Sea. The campaign features the real risks through powerful video testimonials from migrants who have made it to Europe, having endured abuse from smugglers, and sometimes traffickers, along the way.
"We have a duty to inform our African sisters and brothers about the risks and dangers of the trip to the unknown," said Ambassador Naela Gabr, Chairperson of NCCPIM&TIP. "This campaign is an important tool highlighting the different forms of exploitation they could face. We must work together to stop irregular migration and smugglers."
The campaign, which will be largely disseminated through social media, will be complemented by awareness raising activities in cooperation with African embassies in Egypt. The aim is to provide the opportunity for migrants to exchange opinions and experiences.
The campaign is in line with NCCPIM&TIP's “National Strategy on Combating and Preventing Illegal Migration 2016-2026, which provides the overall institutional framework for the Egyptian Government to counter the smuggling of migrants and to ensure the protection of vulnerable migrants in Egypt.
In recent years, the number of migrants arriving to Italy from Egypt has increased. In 2016, IOM estimates that up to 10 per cent of all arrivals to Italy using the Central Mediterranean Route left from Egypt, while the remaining 90 per cent left from Libya.
“In light of the increased numbers, IOM has been working closely with NCCPIM&TIP and other stakeholders to raise awareness about the dangers of irregular migration," said Andrea Dabizzi, Head of the Migrant Assistance Unit in IOM Egypt. "Meanwhile, IOM and its partners have been promoting the provision of alternatives, including employment and skill enhancement programmes within Egyptian communities that generate high rates of irregular migrants."
Dabizzi also added that in 2016, more than 3,400 Egyptian youth benefited from IOM’s employability interventions including job fairs, technical and entrepreneurship trainings, as well as soft skills enhancements programmes in six Egyptian Governorates.
For further information, please contact Andrea Dabizzi, at IOM Egypt, Tel: +202 27365140, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgLanguage English Posted: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 16:58Image: Region-Country: EgyptThemes: Counter-TraffickingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia:
Albania – A new centre for Registration and Temporary Accommodation for irregular migrants was opened last week, in Gerhot, Albania, close to Kakavija Border Crossing Point with Greece. The new facility was established by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in coordination with Albania's Directorate for Border and Migration Police.
The facility will be able to host 60 people and comprises 15 fully equipped units. One is for registration, 10 for accommodation, two sanitary blocks (one each for men and women), and two bathrooms. All units are equipped with fire extinguishers, and two fire hydrants are installed at the centre. Four minivans have been provided by IOM in order to facilitate the transfer of migrants to and from the centre for any additional services.
“The overall objective of the project is to ensure that migrants and refugees entering Albania have access to shelter, medical support and assistance, and all the services they need,” explained Alma Jani, IOM’s representative in Albania, at the official opening ceremony. “Irregular migration is never ideal, nor easy, and this new facility will help the authorities to do their work, and give those passing through a measure of comfort and dignity.”
The centre was developed with funding from a Migrant and Refugee Fund grant received through the Council of Europe Development Bank, under the project “Improving Reception Capacities and Access to Services for Migrants and Refugees Entering Albania”, implemented over the past year with a total budget of EUR 400,000.
The project also increased registration capacities of the Border and Migration Police in Kakavija Border Crossing Point through the provision of computers, printers and passport readers. For the migrants, 4,000 leaflets about the migration process were printed in eight languages (English, Russian, French, Arabic, Pashtu, Dari, Farsi, Urdu) as well as 3,000 mini-dictionaries in six languages (English, Russian, French, Arabic, Farsi, Urdu). Trainings on Humanitarian Border Management and Migration Crisis Management were also provided for border officials and other interested groups.
For further information, please contact Alma Jani at IOM Albania, Tel: +355692023251, Email email@example.comPosted: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 16:57Image: Region-Country: AlbaniaDefault: Multimedia:
Rebani Jaupi, Deputy Director, Albanian State Police (left) and IOM’s Alma Jani officially open the registration centre. Photo: IOM
The new registration centre.
Afghanistan – A two-day regional counter-trafficking forum bringing together civil society representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan was hosted last week by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) in the Tajikistan capital Dushanbe.
The forum brought together civil society organizations working in the field of counter-trafficking to promote cross-border and regional cooperation, and to strengthen protection and reintegration mechanisms for victims of human trafficking and other vulnerable groups.
“Trafficking in persons is a serious concern in Afghanistan and its neighboring countries,” said Laurence Hart, IOM Afghanistan Chief of Mission. “By bringing together organizations that have been on the frontline of fighting trafficking in the region, this forum provides a valuable opportunity for exchange of ideas and improved cooperation.”
While usually the source country for victims of human trafficking, the participating countries have also been identified as transit and destination countries for men, women, and children subject to forced labour and sexual exploitation. An increase in the number of young female victims of trafficking arriving in Afghanistan from neighboring countries has also been observed in recent years.
Civil society organizations play an important role in reaching victims and survivors of human trafficking, to provide them with legal, social and psychological assistance, and to reintegrate them back to society.
At the forum, the participants presented the unique human trafficking situation in their respective countries, and discussed the efforts being made to combat the crime and assist survivors. Emphasis was placed on sharing best practices and exploring opportunities for joint programming and advocacy to implement regional initiatives.
“Civil society organizations are the eyes, ears and hands of the international community in the field,” said IOM Tajikistan Chief of Mission Dragan Aleksoski. “Civil society is an agent of change helping us to understand the needs of vulnerable people and plan our activities accordingly. This event will serve as a starting point for fruitful cooperation between civil society organizations from all of the participating countries.”
In 2016 IOM Afghanistan launched a multi-year counter-trafficking project funded by USAID which aims to improve regional cooperation and strengthen the prevention of human trafficking, protect victims and improve response through a more holistic approach.
This week’s forum is the first major regional cooperation initiative under the project, which will continue to foster networking and advocacy on human trafficking in south and central Asia.
For further information please contact Nasir Ahmad Haidarzai at IOM Afghanistan, Tel: +93 794 100 542, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPosted: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 16:56Image: Region-Country: AfghanistanDefault: Multimedia:
NGO delegates from south and central Asia in Dushanbe. Photo IOM
Haiti – On 20 June, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) opened Haiti's first Border Resource Centre (BRC), in coordination with the Mayor of Anse-à-Pîtres and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour. The BRC is the first State institution tasked with ensuring the safe and respectable return of Haitian migrants to their country of origin. Three additional BRCs are in the process of being built at the remaining three official border sites: Malpasse, Belladère, and Ouanaminthe.
These centres will allow local protection agencies to better identify, orient, and assist vulnerable migrants – all while creating a space where the agencies can collaborate with each other and provide psycho-social counselling. The project also seeks to put in place referral mechanisms in order to facilitate greater access to basic services and support the sustainable reintegration of vulnerable migrants in Haiti.
“Migrants are human beings beyond all else. Opening a centre where we can welcome migrants and provide them with psychological counseling to heal their wounds is a strong symbolic and humane gesture. This important initiative is supported and encouraged by the Haitian government,” said Roosevelt Bellevue, Minister of Social Affairs and Labour, during the opening of the BRC.
A sizeable number of Haitians irregularly cross the border into the Dominican Republic in search of services and opportunities. The absence of documentation only worsens their vulnerabilities and exposes them to different forms of abuse and ill-treatment, such as human trafficking, including forced labour and sexual exploitation, among others.
“Since the expiration of the registration period to the National Regularization Plan of Foreigners (NRPF) in June 2015, IOM has recorded that more than 202,252 Haitian migrants have spontaneously returned or were deported to Haiti," explained Fabien Sambussy, IOM Haiti Chief of Mission. "This figure shows that assistance is needed throughout the border region in order to help vulnerable migrants returning home, particularly women and children. Many arrive in precarious conditions. They might have no access to resources, have been separated from their family, are undernourished or exhausted from having spent several days in Dominican detention centres.”
IOM, with financial support from the Canadian Government, has implemented an assistance project for migrants: “To Help Vulnerable Children and Women in the Border Regions of Haiti.”
“Canada is proud to help ameliorate the protection and the promotion of the fundamental rights of women and children. This initiative is well aligned with the new feminist policy of development assistance of Canada,” said Ivan Roberts, Head of the Haiti-Canada Cooperation.
“Respecting human dignity remains an unbroken part of the history in the fight for women’s rights. In every circumstance the rights of women must be respected,” said Eunide Innocent, Haiti's Minister of the Status of Women and Women’s Rights.
For further information, please contact Julie Harlet in Haiti, Tel: +509 46388051, Email: email@example.comLanguage English Posted: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 17:03Image: Region-Country: HaitiThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationIntegrated Border ManagementMigrant AssistanceMigrants RightsDefault: Multimedia:
Ivan Roberts, Head of Canadian Cooperation in Haiti; Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, Roosevelt Bellevue; and Fabien Sambussy, IOM Head of Mission in Haiti.
The Border Resource Centre of Anse-a-Pitre at its inauguration.
The Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, Roosevelt Bellevue, and the Head of Canadian Cooperation in Haiti, Ivan Roberts.