Press Room IOM
South Africa - In an effort to improve sexual and reproductive health and HIV (SRH-HIV) related outcomes amongst migrants, including migrant adolescents, young people and sex workers, the Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) – HIV Knows No Borders programme was launched earlier this week (8 May) in Mbabane, Swaziland.
The launch of the programme, which is scheduled to continue into the year 2020 in six countries within the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region was attended by Ministers of Health, members of Parliament, local chiefs, adolescents and young people.
The initiative, which is supported by USD 11 million in funding from The Kingdom of the Netherlands, will also serve non-migrant adolescents, young people, sex workers and others living in migration-affected communities.
The SRHR project already has been launched in Zambia, and Swaziland with South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique and Malawi set to follow.
“We are seeing 70 new positive cases of HIV amongst young women and adolescents every week within this region,” said Regional Migration Health Co-ordinator Dr. Erick Ventura.
In speaking of the prevalence of HIV within the region, Dr. Ventura said that although HIV may “not be a new issue, it continues to be a relevant issue.”
The SADC region is home to the largest HIV positive population in the world, with an estimated 14.7 million people living with HIV, which represents 59 percent of the total population of people living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa and 42 percent of the total number worldwide.
This new programme implements a holistic, multi-stakeholder approach that addresses problems that cause the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Also targeted are high unwanted teenage pregnancies and maternal mortality in Southern Africa.
"We need to intensify services for SRH-HIV for the adolescent age group," said Mduduzi Dlamini, from Swaziland's Ministry of Health.
Swaziland has come a long way in attempting to curtail the scourge of HIV and the AIDS epidemic in the country, at one time the highest prevalence rates in the world.
In 2001, the Kingdom of Swaziland established The National Emergency Response Council on HIV and AIDS (NERCHA) to coordinate and facilitate the National Multi-sectoral HIV/AIDS response and oversee the implementation of the national strategic plans and frameworks.
In a similar fashion, the SRHR project is not just being implemented at a policy level, but is also reaching out to local chiefs, traditional leaders, parents and young people living in the Hhohho Region. Young people are encouraged to get tested, seek treatment and access medical assistance for pregnancy.
For further information, please contact Lerato Tsebe, IOM Pretoria, Tel: +27123 422 789, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgLanguage English Posted: Friday, May 12, 2017 - 16:37Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastSouth AfricaThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia:
Young people from Swaziland’s Hhohho Region performing a traditional Swazi dance for delegates and participants at the launch of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) – HIV Knows No Borders programme in the capital Mbabane, on 8 May. Video: IOM/Lerato Tsebe 2017
Young people from Swaziland’s Hhohho Region performing a traditional Swazi dance for delegates and participants at the launch of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) – HIV Knows No Borders programme in the capital Mbabane, on 8 May. They are from the community where the SRHR programme will be rolled out. Video: IOM/Lerato Tsebe 2017
UN Migration Agency, Netherlands Promote Human Rights, Community Policing in Indonesia’s Papua, Maluku Islands
Indonesia - Conflict prevention and grassroots access to justice are crucial for the protection of human rights, according to Netherlands’ Human Rights Ambassador, Kees van Baar, who this week visited the community policing projects in Papua and Maluku of the UN Migration Agency (IOM)’s mission in Indonesia.
"It is great to see the villages being empowered, learning about their rights, developing the tools to prevent and resolve conflicts and to find solutions by themselves, as well as their fruitful cooperation with the local police," said van Baar.
“Human rights belong to everybody; justice is justice for all. The Netherlands considers this a major priority globally. Open and constructive communication between police and the community is one strategy to ensure the protection of these rights,” he added.
IOM Indonesia and the Indonesian National Police (INP) have collaborated on human rights training and community policing around the country for the past 14 years, supporting the INP’s transition from a militarized force into a civil security organization.
With funding from the Dutch Embassy, IOM has trained over 5,800 front-line officers in Papua, Papua Barat and Maluku provinces in human rights protection and community communication techniques since 2013.
Community Policing Forums (CPFs) have been established in 28 villages in 12 districts, providing a platform for a variety of community stakeholders, NGOs, government and police to discuss potential and current security and social issues.
“This programme is just as much about the community as it is about the police; one of the most important objectives is to make sure the voices of people in the community are heard,” said IOM Indonesia Deputy Chief of Mission, George Gigauri. “With this collaboration, conflict can be prevented and social development plans can be created, paving the way forward for a harmonious society.”
Ambassador van Baar discussed the human rights situation in Papua, West Papua and Maluku with security and government officials, civil society organizations and village CPFs. Communal violence, access to justice, domestic violence, conflict prevention, and freedom of expression and of religion were among the topics raised. He also noted the use of community policing strategies to anticipate and defuse situations that might lead to potential human rights issues.
“Before (this programme), our community was uncomfortable communicating with the police, but now we can approach them without fear. We now have a way to make our community safer,” a woman CPF member told the delegation in Amahusu village in Maluku. At the request of the CPF, police have been disseminating information in the village about domestic violence and mechanisms in order to address it.
For further information, please contact Paul Dillon at IOM Indonesia, Tel: +62 811 944 4612, Email: email@example.comPosted: Friday, May 12, 2017 - 16:23Image: Region-Country: AsiaIndonesiaThemes: Capacity BuildingMigrants RightsDefault:
Switzerland - IOM, the UN Migration Agency reports that 49,310 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 7 May, with the vast majority arriving in Italy and the rest in Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 187,569 arrivals through 7 May 2016.Mediterranean Developments
IOM Rome reported over the weekend and into Monday that IOM field staffers at Italian landing points calculated a total of 6,612 rescued survivors from more than a dozen locations since last Friday. Over 190 migrants lost their life in two shipwrecks.
Operations still underway are expected to bring all survivors to safety at the Italian harbours of Lampedusa, Reggio Calabria, Pozzallo, Augusta, Catania, Palermo and Vibo Valentia.
Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo said that, according to eye witness testimony from migrants who arrived Sunday in Pozzallo, a dinghy carrying about 130 migrants capsized during the sea crossing: 50 migrants survived while at least 80 people went missing.
“Favourable weather between Friday and Sunday brought thousands of migrants attempting a sea crossing to escape the violence and abuse in Libya,” Di Giacomo said. “Our field colleagues providing direct assistance at the harbours reported that many migrants bore signs of torture.”
IOM field staff in Libya identified another shipwreck a few miles off the Libyan coast at Az Zawiyah. As reported by one of the seven survivors rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard and local fishermen in the area, at least 113 people – including several dozen women and nine children – remain missing at sea and are feared drowned. Given the number of passengers on board, migrants were probably traveling on an unseaworthy rubber dinghy that capsized near the coast.
As of 7 May 2017, 41,196 migrants arrived in Italy by sea, while the tally of victims has spiked beyond 1,200 in the Central Mediterranean route.
Nigeria, as was the case last year, represents the largest single nationality of migrants arriving in Italy, followed by Bangladesh, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire and Gambia (see chart below).
IOM Libya reported this week that since last Friday morning (5 May), 685 migrants have been rescued at sea off Libya, with more than 110 presumed missing.
On Friday, 5 May, 371 migrants were rescued off the western coastal city of Zuwarah by local fishermen. The first rescue operation was of 137 migrants, 107 men, 28 women (of which nine were pregnant) and two infants (three and eight months old), of several African nationalities.
Their migrant boat was reportedly intercepted by an armed group at sea, where the boat’s engine was taken and migrants robbed of their cellphones. Left adrift, the boat was eventually rescued by local fishermen.
A second operation saved 110 migrants: 102 Bangladeshi, six Nigerian men and two women. The last rescue operation on Friday was of 124 migrants (89 men, 31 women, four children). One of the women reportedly had an old gunshot wound in her leg. The migrants will be transferred to detention centres, including Shuhada al Nasr.
On Saturday, 6 May, 168 migrants (161 men, 5 women and 2 children) of African nationalities were rescued off the capital Tripoli by the Libyan Coast Guard. Once received at the disembarkation point at the main port, IOM staff and implementing partner, STACO doctors assisted the migrants in need of health support. The migrants were transferred to Abu Salim detention centre where they received winter blankets and hygiene kits from IOM in the afternoon.
On Sunday, two rescue missions by local fishermen occurred off Zuwara, one of 126 migrants (125 men and 1 woman) and one of 13 migrants.
Also on Sunday, another rescue mission off Az Zawiyah by the Libyan Coast Guard and local fishermen ended more tragically as only 7 migrants (6 men and 1 woman) survived. According to the testimony from one of the survivors, the boat carried around 120 migrants (including around 30 women and 9 children), which means that at least 113 migrants are still missing. Some of the rescued migrants were reportedly in need of health assistance.
“Many migrants need support after having lost loved ones at sea,” IOM Libya Public Information Officer Christine Petré said. “Having not only risked their lives but perhaps spent all their money and belongings on the chance of reaching a better life and then being rescued only to be transferred to a detention centre must be a horrible and emotionally challenging experience.”
On Monday, 8 May, IOM also received information regarding 11 bodies retrieved west of Az Zawiyah, 10 African women and one baby girl. The bodies could belong to those 110 believed to be missing from the boat off Az Zawiyah on 7 May.
So far in 2017, 4,841 migrants have been rescued off the Libyan coast and 218 bodies have been retrieved.
For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic:
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int
For further information please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM Geneva, Tel: +41.79.103 8720, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: email@example.com
IOM Greece: Kelly Namia Tel: +30 210 99.12.174, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: email@example.com
IOM Libya: Othman Belbeisi, Tel +216 29 600389, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Christine Petré, Tel: (Direct): +216 29 240 448, Email: email@example.com
Yemen - On 4 May 2017, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) donated over three tons of medicine and medical supplies to the Al-Jumhori Hospital in Sana’a, Yemen. The medicines and medical supplies are mainly for treating acute diarrheal disease.
The donation was part of IOM’s urgent response – that is, implementation within 24 hours – to the formal request from the hospital for support in managing the growing number of patients arriving at the hospital with acute watery diarrhoea, or AWD.
Yemen’s healthcare system is on the brink of collapse. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), only 45 per cent of health facilities in Yemen are fully functional and accessible, 38 per cent are partially functional and 17 per cent are non-functional, and at least 274 of those facilities have been damaged or destroyed during the current conflict.
The latest WHO update from 21 March 2017 stated that, since the October 2016 start of the emergency, a cumulative total of 23,506 suspected cases of cholera have been recorded. Authorities have said that this number includes 108 associated confirmed deaths across the country. Of these reported cases, Vibrio Cholera 01 has been laboratory-confirmed in 198 stool samples collected from 15 governorates.
While cases are now on the decline, some new cases continue to surface due to poor access to health-care services and limited ability of health workers to investigate conditions everywhere due to the country’s difficult security situation.
“Since 28 April 2017, more than 100 patients have arrived with suspected cholera and four cases were laboratory-confirmed,” explained Dr. Nasr Al-Qadasi, General Director of Al-Jumhori Hospital.
Throughout 2016 and 2017, in response to the outbreak, IOM provided public hospitals with water tanks, solar panels, rechargeable batteries, electricity networks, medical supplies and other equipment, as well as daily water trucks providing clean water.
Moreover, IOM continues with medical screening for AWD among migrants in all governorates where IOM clinics are operating. IOM has established Diarrhea Treatment Units (DTUs) in the three IOM locations. From 16 October 2016 to 29 April 2017, some 36,693 migrants were screened. Among them 1,933 suspected cases and nine confirmed cholera cases were detected either in Aden or Hodeidah.
The donation of the medicine and medical supplies to Al-Jumhori Hospital was funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).
For further information, please contact Saba Malme at IOM Yemen, Tel: + 967 736 800 329, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPosted: Tuesday, May 9, 2017 - 16:15Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastYemenThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration HealthDefault:
South Sudan - An IOM Rapid Response Team was deployed to Jonglei, South Sudan, late last month (25 April) in response to a cholera outbreak affecting more than 230 people in Ayod County. The IOM team is supporting local health partners to rapidly scale up the emergency and contain the outbreak in a hard-to-reach and often insecure area of the country.
Relief agencies are responding to cholera outbreaks across the country, with nine counties currently reporting active transmission, including three in Jonglei alone. Since the cholera outbreak was declared in June 2016, over 7,200 cases have been reported, including 229 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the South Sudan Ministry of Health.
IOM’s response began after 140 suspected cases of cholera were reported in Ayod during the first weeks of April, putting the population of approximately 175,000 people at risk. Access to Ayod is difficult during the rainy season, and its proximity to the Nile River increases its vulnerability to outbreaks of water-borne diseases such as cholera.
IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, is working alongside the County Health Department and the Christian Mission for Development (CMD) in the town of Jiech to facilitate surveillance, manage cases and improve community outreach efforts to stem the outbreak.
Most suspected cholera cases come from communities living in cattle camps along the river. IOM established oral rehydration points in three hotspot areas to increase access to treatment.
Due to the ongoing crisis in Jonglei, health facilities in Ayod are not functioning and face a lack of health workers and medical supplies. Once on the ground, IOM found that clinics had to be quickly improved to ensure suitable space for patient admissions and consultations.
To ensure access to supplies required for a cholera response, the WHO provided response kits, medication and equipment for oral rehydration points and cholera treatment units.
The IOM team also delivered essential medications to treat other common illnesses during the mission.
To date, IOM and its partners have reported treating at least 40 people suffering from cholera symptoms. The team plans to hand over operations to the Christian Mission for Development in the coming days but will continue providing additional supplies for the on-going response.
Elsewhere, an IOM water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) team is responding to suspected cases of cholera in Kopoeta, Eastern Equatoria, through hygiene promotion activities aimed at mitigating the spread of the disease. The team deployed on 4 May and immediately began recruiting hygiene promoters from the local community to ensure a quick and effective response after several suspected cases were reported in the area.
Since the cholera outbreak began in 2016, IOM has responded in remote locations and displacement sites throughout South Sudan to manage cases and mitigate the further spread of the disease. Daily, teams continually conduct health and hygiene promotion activities to ensure vulnerable populations have access to basic information to keep their families healthy despite displacement and difficult living conditions.
For further information, please contact Ashley McLaughlin at IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211 912 379 793. Email: email@example.com.Posted: Tuesday, May 9, 2017 - 16:14Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastSouth SudanThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration HealthDefault:
Guinea - On 4 May, the United Nations Migration Agency (IOM) assisted 165 stranded migrants – 152 men and 13 women – to return home from Libya to Guinea (Conakry). The group included five unaccompanied children, one infant and one medical case.
The migrants were among the many Guineans currently living irregularly in Libya, often under harsh conditions, and who sought IOM’s assistance to voluntarily return to Guinea.
Of the passengers, 147 were detained at Trig al Seka detention centre, while 10 were at Abu Salim detention centre and the remaining eight were previously living in urban areas.
The charter flight departed Tripoli’s Mitiga airport and arrived in Guinea Conakry that same evening. Funds for the charter flight were provided by the Netherlands.
IOM conducted pre-departure interviews, medical check-ups and facilitated exit visas for all passengers. Prior to departure, the migrants also received additional assistance in the form of dignity kits, comprising clothes and shoes.
Among the passengers was Mariam*, a 19-year-old woman, who explained that she had left Guinea, where she worked as a seamstress, almost a year ago. She arrived in Libya after a two-month journey through Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Niger, travelling with two friends, one of whom died in Libya. She does not know what happened to the other friend.
Mariam was abused by her employers in Libya. Following two failed attempts to reach Italy via the Mediterranean route, she decided to go back to Guinea to resume her career as a seamstress.
Another of the passengers was 20-year-old Amara* who was shot by smugglers off the Zuwara coast and suffered a leg injury.
Thirty-year-old Bamba* paid 3,000 euros to pass through the desert. On the way, he was kidnapped twice and was close to death at one point. Now he was looking forward to a new start in Guinea Conakry.
So far in 2017, IOM Libya has helped 3,089 stranded migrants return to their countries of origin. Of these, 601 were eligible for reintegration assistance.
Last Thursday’s flight was the third chartered this year by the UN Migration Agency to take migrants home to Guinea from Libya; the first two carried 133 people. IOM also is helping Guinean migrants stranded in Niger, Morocco and Egypt.
The IOM Guinea team, the Guinean National Service of Humanitarian Affairs (SENAH), as well as officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were present at the airport to provide support and assistance to the returning Guineans.
IOM staff interviewed the migrants as they arrived in Conakry to learn how they could help them with reintegration and work opportunities at home.
Returning migrants residing in Conakry returned directly to their homes, while those originating from different regions were accommodated for one night at the Matam Transit Centre, before heading to their final destinations with IOM support.
Eight of the most vulnerable migrants were also entitled to further reintegration support once back in Guinea Conakry. This assistance will provide the returnees with an opportunity to start afresh once home by, for example, opening a small business or continuing with their education.
*Migrants’ names have been altered to protect their privacy.
For further information, please contact IOM Libya. Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600 389, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Ashraf Hassan, Tel: +216 29 794 707, Email: email@example.com or Lucas Chandellier at IOM Guinea, Tel: +224 628 33 86 53, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPosted: Tuesday, May 9, 2017 - 16:13Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastGuineaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationMigrant AssistanceDefault:
United Republic of Tanzania - The IOM African Capacity Building Centre (ACBC) yesterday (8 May) launched a new capacity-building project for immigration and border officials from five African countries.
The training, which will take place in Moshi, United Republic of Tanzania, will see the UN Migration Agency (IOM) provide instruction on a rotating basis to 100 border and immigration officials from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Republic of Guinea (Conakry), Federal Republic of Nigeria, Republic of Sierra Leone and the United Republic of Tanzania.
This will be carried out under the auspices of a project entitled, Enhancing Migration Management in African States through Capacity Building on Integrated Border Management and Countering Irregular Migration, which is funded by the Ministry of Security and Justice of the Netherlands.
The total budget for the project is Euro 274,098. This week’s launch event was attended by government, donor and IOM officials at the Tanzania Regional Immigration Training Academy (TRITA) in Moshi.
The project is supervised by the Repatriation and Departure Services (RDS) of the Ministry of Security and Justice of the Netherlands and targets middle management officials from border agencies. The officials will be trained in immigration and migration-related topics with a particular emphasis on migration management. Techniques in screening travellers and investigation of reported cases of human trafficking will be two areas of concern, all within the framework of an integrated border-management approach at national, regional and international levels.
Speaking at the launch, Ambassador Celestine Mushy, Tanzania’s Director of Multilateral Cooperation and East African Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, commended RDS and IOM for their timely intervention. “African migrants have perished while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe,” he told the audience, “And I call upon the international community to treat migrants with humanity.”
Jan Willem Konig, the Senior Advisor of the RDS said: “It is the joint responsibility of the international community to address challenges related to irregular migration and human trafficking that is causing the suffering and death of tens of thousands of migrants.”
IOM Tanzania Chief of Mission, Dr. Qasim Sufi thanked the donor, the Government of the Netherlands through the RDS, for the financial support to the project and committed IOM’s continued support to use capacity-building to equip officials with the knowledge and skills to meet the complex migration challenges and appealed to the participants to make good use of their newly acquired expertise for the benefit of migrants.Africa and Middle EastUnited Republic of TanzaniaThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault:
Colombia - IOM Colombia and the Colombian National Training Service (SENA) last week (4-5 May) held an event which brought together international and national experts, business leaders, public servants; and youth apprentices as well as SENA instructors to discuss labour migration.
The event was part of national efforts to strengthen public policy on labour migration through awareness raising and sharing of experiences, good practices and lessons learned at national and international level.
The event was attended by the UN Migration Agency (IOM)’s labour migration specialists Ricardo Cordero and Anna Platonova, as well as experts from International Labour Organization (ILO), Ibero-American Social Security Organization (OISS) and Colombian institutions including the Ministries of Foreign Affairs; Labour, Commerce, Industry and Tourism; Migracion Colombia (National Migration Authority), and the SENA’s Public Employment Agency, among others.
Participants discussed human rights of labour migrants, labour migration within Colombia, and migration of skilled migrants. In addition, themes surrounding Colombia’s economic situation with regards to the peace accords, the role of the private sector, including its engagement in the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS) and mechanisms to prevent human trafficking, as well as achievements and challengers on labour migration at a regional level, were also discussed.
With regards to the opportunities of international labour migration in the private sector, Platonova stated that “a challenge to the private sector globally is the shortage of highly qualified individuals.” As a result, she added, “It is vitally important that those who decide to migrate have the professional backgrounds necessary to fill the relevant positions in foreign countries.”
In the case of Colombia, for decades there has been a trend of migration to regional countries and to the United States, Canada and Spain, due primarily to the armed conflict. This has presented an almost permanent labour flow in the region for these countries.
Speaking about labour opportunities abroad for Colombians, Alejandro Guidi, IOM Colombia Chief of Mission said, “It is important to be as informed as possible about a particular opportunity, be aware of the full contractual obligations that the company is offering, visit the country’s consulate or Embassy and find out if the company that is offering the position really exists, and seek help if you do not know the language.”
Guidi added, “Globalization, demographic changes, conflict, income inequalities, and climate change each increasingly drive more workers and their families across borders in search of better jobs and security.”
As part of the Colombian Government’s efforts to develop strategies related to cross-border labour mobility and to increase a national and international information exchange, IOM Colombia has been working hand in hand with SENA since 2015 to expand employment opportunities especially for the country’s vulnerable populations to positively impact productivity, social development, and peace building.
According to Jaime Vence, National SENA Employment Coordinator, from 2006 to this year, SENA preselected and placed approximately 3,800 people to work in gainful employment in Spain, Portugal, Canada and Panama.
Traditionally, Colombia is a country of more emigration (out-flow) with 4.7 million emigrants, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Globally, there are 244 million migrants, of which 150.3 million are labour migrants, according to ILO.
SENA is the Government Agency under the Colombian Ministry of Labour that provides vocational and technical training programs to millions of Colombians to further the economic and social development of the country.
For further information, please contact Karen Mora at IOM Colombia, Tel. + (57) 1 639 7777, Email: email@example.comPosted: Tuesday, May 9, 2017 - 16:11Image: Region-Country: AmericaColombiaThemes: Labour MigrationDefault:
Netherlands - IOM the Netherlands is launching a European digital platform to improve labour market access of residence permit holders: www.FromSkills2Work.eu
The early validation of formal and informal competences is crucial for the successful labour participation of beneficiaries of international protection. The website www.FromSkills2Work.eu offers information on services, organizations, projects and initiatives that support the identification of skills, knowledge and competencies of beneficiaries of international protection with a focus on nine EU member states: Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The platform also shows employment success stories from migrants and their employers in each participating member state.
The platform is part of IOM’s EC funded Skills2Work initiative, which focuses on skills recognition with a European reach. Project partners in the Netherlands are the African Young Professional Network, COA (Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers), Radboud University in Nijmegen and the Foundation for Refugee Students UAF.Europe and Central AsiaNetherlandsThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia:
Ethiopia - On 1 May, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) began the transfer of South Sudanese refugees from Ethiopia’s Pagak border entry point in Gambella to the Gore-Shembola refugee camp in Benishangul Gumuz Regional States, approximately 835 km away.
With recent fighting and severe food insecurity further worsening the already dismal humanitarian situation in South Sudan, an additional 30,000 refugees are expected to enter Gambella over the coming months. Refugee camps in Gambella, one of Ethiopia’s least developed regions, are currently at maximum capacity with the total number of South Sudanese refugees surpassing that of the local population.
IOM, in collaboration with the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), carried out an assessment of the potential route from Pagak border entry point to Gore-Shembola refugee camp in Benishangul, to ensure the safe and dignified migration of the refugees.
Prior to relocation, IOM provided pre-departure medical screenings to ensure refugees are fit for travel, referring those who present medical concerns to local health facilities. IOM is also working in coordination with Plan International to provide psychosocial support and protection services for unaccompanied minors.
“The journey from Jonglei to Pagak has been really difficult. We have walked for six days straight and my children and I have eaten only wild fruit from the forest,” said Nyakim. She and her four children are among the 365 refugees who were transferred to Gure-Shembola refugee camp in Benishangul this week. The struggles of the journey to reach Ethiopia are clearly visible – Nyakim’s four children suffer from skin rashes and a cough. They fled Jonglei due to renewed fighting. Leaving her husband behind, she made the perilous journey to ensure the safety of her children.
“IOM has set up two way stations, one at Metu (275 km from the Pagak entry point) and the other at Gimbi (310 km from Metu),” said Anezier Ebrahim, IOM Officer in charge of the operation, explaining the route taken to reach Gore-Shembola refugee camp. “The way stations have been constructed with the financial assistance of the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and provide overnight accommodation, shelter and meals for refugees in transit from the border entry point to the camp,” he continued.
IOM worked in collaboration with Action for the Needy in Ethiopia (ANE) for way station site preparations and the provision of latrines, showers and water.
“Continued transportation assistance is urgently required to ensure newly arrived refugees’ access to basic services in the camps. IOM remains committed to assist refugees with transportation from Pagak border entry point to Gore-Shembola refugee camp in the coming months,” added Ebrahim.
For further information, please contact Alemayehu Seifeselassie at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251 11 6611117 (Ext. 455), Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPosted: Friday, May 5, 2017 - 16:43Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastEthiopiaDefault:
Switzerland - IOM, the UN Migration Agency reports that 44,209 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 3 May, with the vast majority arriving in Italy and the rest in Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 184,741 arrivals through 3 May 2016.
IOM learned this week that, after a brief lull following a surge of boat traffic leaving Libya in mid-April, rescue efforts – and reported deaths of migrants – picked up sharply in the Sicilian Channel. IOM Libya’s Christine Petré said on Thursday (4 May) that Libyan media reported on the remains of 19 migrants said to have been recovered by fishermen off the coast near the city of Subratah. Additionally, she said IOM has confirmed the recovery of another body in Eastern Libya near Tobruk, whose discovery was confirmed on April 26.
IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported this week the remains of at least six migrants or refugees were recovered during an operation carried out by the MSF ship Prudence. IOM also learned from social media on Thursday of an ongoing rescue of two heavily loaded wooden vessels in nearby waters. Rescuers tweeting from their vessels showed photographs of at least two passengers with gunshot wounds. One of the victims was reported dead.
IOM’s Missing Migrants Project is still waiting for confirmation for many of those deaths. Therefore today’s Mediterranean fatalities total – 1,096 – should be considered a low estimate. Judging from the information received this week, IOM estimates at least 120 more fatalities are likely, which would bring this year’s total through May 3 to over 1200 – or just short of the 1,379 deaths recorded in the Mediterranean at this time in 2016.
Last year’s totals include nearly 340 more deaths on the Eastern Mediterranean route linking Turkey to Greece than have occurred this year. Meanwhile deaths on the Central Mediterranean route linking North Africa to Italy are running at a pace of over 120 ahead of last year – or an average of one more migrant death per day.
In terms of arrivals, IOM Rome said, through the month of April, this year’s total arrivals to Italy were at 37,034 (see chart below), which is 10,000 arrivals more than either 2016 or 2015. On average, this year’s migration flow from North Africa comes to about 310 men, women and children per day – compared with 218/day in 2015 and 232/day last year.
IOM Rome also issued a statement concerning acts of vandalism that occurred Thursday (04/05) at some of its facilities. He said "The IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean witnessed today an incident of vandalism by Italian right-wing movement Forza Nuova." He added, "Some demonstrators occupied the outdoor space of the IOM Mission in Rome, after hanging a banner at the entrance with a slogan against NGOs that carry out life-saving search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean. The demonstrators set off smoke devices and kept shouting slogans against migration, and even mocked one of our migrant beneficiaries who was arriving at the IOM office."
IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing said: "We deplore today’s attacks on IOM's offices in Rome by some misguided individuals. This incidence of vandalism highlights the dangerous spread of xenophobia and the need combat the toxic anti-migration narrative with sound, sensible policies to manage the growing challenge of managing migration across the Mediterranean."
IOM Athens reported on Thursday that total sea arrivals to Greece through May 3 stand at 5,316 – an average of 44 per day since the start of the year. In recent days, IOM Athens has begun to observe signs traffic may again be picking up. This week IOM reports the Hellenic Coast Guard managed at least two search and rescue operations resulting in some 65 migrants being brought to Lesvos. On Monday, IOM learned 116 migrants arrived by sea on the island of Chios while on Wednesday 90 landed on Lesvos.
Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project reports that there have been 1,668 fatalities through 3 May (see chart below) with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – about two thirds of the global total. At least eight persons were believed drowned off the coast of the Dominican Republic, bringing to 89 the total of Caribbean drownings this year – or 50 more than were recorded through all of 2016.
The Missing Migrants Project also reported the discovery of eight dehydrated victims in the desert near the Niger-Libya border. Five of those victims were children.
For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic:
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int
For further information please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM Geneva, Tel: +41.79.103 8720, Email: email@example.com
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
IOM Greece: Kelly Namia Tel: +30 210 99.12.174, Email Knamia@iom.int
or Daniel Esdras, Tel: +30 210 9912174, Email: email@example.com
or Kelly Namia, Tel: +30 210 9919040, +30 210 9912174, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: email@example.com
IOM Libya: Othman Belbeisi, Tel +216 29 600389, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Christine Petré, Tel: (Direct): +216 29 240 448, Email: email@example.com or Ashraf Hassan, Tel +216 29 794707, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Libya - This week, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) completed the rehabilitation of two out of four Libyan detention centres to improve the living conditions of its detained migrants.
The rehabilitation of Tripoli-located Trig al Seka and Tareq al Mattar detention centres, which started at the end of March included the installation of new toilets and rehabilitation of the old ones, setting up a water purification system, repairing the sewage and cabling network, and fitting ventilation fans and water boilers.
For Trig al Seka, the bathrooms were relocated to outside the accommodation area, which will improve the sanitary conditions for the migrants.
“IOM is not expanding the already existing space of the detention centres but enhancing the current living conditions for detained migrants by, for example, enhancing the sanitary amenities, drinking water and building seven outdoor complexes of shower facilities and lavatories,” said IOM Libya Programme Manager Maysa Khalil.
The aim of the IOM intervention is to vastly improve the often appalling living conditions of more than 7,100 migrants currently in the 27 Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM)-managed detention centres inside Libya, according to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), which has identified 381,463 migrants in the North African country. However, the total number of migrants in Libya is estimated to be between 700,000 and 1 million.
“It is important to keep in mind that IOM is first and foremost advocating for alternatives to detention and is working in parallel to identify options such as shelters and more open detention spaces,” emphasized Chief of Mission Othman Belbeisi, adding that, “In the meantime, we are working to also improve the already existing detention facilities,” he added.
The rehabilitation intervention is part of a wider IOM initiative focusing on Libya’s detention centres, which involves separating the most vulnerable migrants, including women and children, from the other detainees, as well as supporting the DCIM staff in human rights training and the identification of vulnerable cases.
The rehabilitations are part of the project, Supporting Libyan Authorities in Managing Migration Flows by Improving Compliance with Human Rights in Migrants’ Detention Centres and Through Voluntary Repatriations, funded by the United Kingdom.Africa and Middle EastLibyaDefault:
Indonesia - Communities across Indonesia threatened by illicit labor recruitment must cooperate closely to eliminate a practice that facilitates human trafficking, representatives of five districts from across the country were told this week at an IOM-sponsored workshop in the port city of Batam.
“Victims of trafficking remain vulnerable due to vast geographic and institutional barriers which prevent them from getting adequate information and services,” IOM’s Pierre King told government officials from districts where tens of thousands of undocumented laborers are recruited annually. “The logistics of connecting your communities are daunting, but we need a common strategy to protect victims wherever they are.”
In addition to representatives from the capital Jakarta DKI, and Sukabumi and Indramayu districts in West Java province, the Batam Anti-Trafficking Task Force (ATTF) invited participants from Kupang and East Lombok districts in the far east of the country, both areas where unscrupulous labor recruiters are active.
Those delegations travelled more than 3,800km, roughly the distance between London and Tehran, to attend the meetings, underlining the scale of the challenge under-resourced local governments face coordinating their efforts.
Funded by the US State Department’s International Bureau for Narcotics and Law Enforcement, the workshop saw the signing of an important memorandum of understanding (MoU) with two legal aid institutions, the introduction of a new IOM handbook containing standard operating procedures for the delivery of integrated services for victims of or witnesses to trafficking, and a pocketbook to help frontline responders identify and assist victims and/or witnesses.
“This MoU ensures that victims of trafficking found in Batam and their families will be able to access pro-bono legal services, regardless of where they are from,” said Batam mayor Muhammad Rudi.
Roughly 1.5 million Indonesians are registered with the government as overseas workers. Batam serves as both a destination for labor migrants and victims of trafficking, some of whom end up in the city’s booming entertainment district, and a transit point for workers heading by ferry to nearby Singapore and Malaysia. The latter hosts an estimated 2.5 million unregistered Indonesian workers.
“We appreciate the role of IOM and donor counties in assisting victims in their communities of origin, transit and destination, including Batam,” said Dr. Sujatmiko, the Deputy for Women and Children’s Protection at the Coordinating Ministry of Human Development and Cultural Affairs.
“I hope the cooperation we are seeing today between Batam and source regions can be strengthened and replicated across Indonesia.”
For further information, please contact Paul Dillon at IOM Indonesia, Tel. +62 811 944 4612, Email: email@example.comPosted: Friday, May 5, 2017 - 16:40Image: Region-Country: AsiaIndonesiaDefault:
Yemen - Natural disasters and pre-existing economic fragility are escalating the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. The UN Migration Agency (IOM) is working with communities in Yemen to help them better prepare for or prevent future disasters, while also carrying out its emergency response, early recovery, and stabilization activities.
Displaced persons and affected communities in Yemen continue to face increased insecurity, limited freedom of movement, restricted access to services (shelter, food, water, health and education) and a lack of livelihood opportunities. Torrential rains and flash floods triggered by two rainy seasons, March to May and July to October, have the potential to be devastating, compounding the damage caused by storms throughout the year.
“We need to be ready to support the population rendered more vulnerable by these natural catastrophes, in addition to the difficulties they are already experiencing in a country in conflict,” said IOM Yemen Chief of Mission Laurent De Boeck. “Without an effective early warning system, Yemenis will continue to suffer the impact of flooding and other natural disasters,” he continued.
Globally, IOM leads the response to human displacement triggered by natural disasters. IOM has developed a strategy and response plan to provide fast life-saving support to victims of natural disasters in Yemen, through the provision of relief items and the implementation of an early warning system. These plans have been developed to complement IOM’s humanitarian emergency response to the ongoing conflict.
Last year, IOM Yemen helped people affected by the cyclones Chapala and Megh by providing direct assistance, including water, food, shelter, and hygiene kits, to flood-affected households in Al Maharah, Socotra, Shabwah and Hadramaut.
The agency similarly supported natural disaster-affected populations in Yemen in 2008, when a tropical storm devastated the Governorate of Hadramaut. Approximately 180 people died and 20,000 people were displaced. In 2010, heavy rains hit the capital, Sana’a, killing nine people and damaging houses in the old city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
IOM will provide and store relief items in strategic locations in flood-prone governorates across the country. This will enable IOM and its partners to reduce the time it takes to reach the most vulnerable communities during natural disasters. The development of the strategy and response plan was funded by the Yemen Humanitarian Pooled Fund (YHPF).
IOM continues to look for further support to expand its activities in Yemen.
For further information, please contact Saba Malme at IOM Yemen, Tel: + 967 736 800 329, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPosted: Friday, May 5, 2017 - 16:39Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastYemenDefault:
Guinea - In Conakry on 27 April, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) launched an integrated border management project in Guinea and Mali. The main objective of the project is to improve border security and control through enhancing the border management capacities of the Governments of Guinea and Mali.
The one-year project, funded by the Government of Japan, will be implemented in seven localities in Guinea (Conakry, Kankan, Mali, Sigiri, Dinguiraye, Koubia and Tougue) and three localities in Mali (Bamako, Koulikoro and Kangaba).
The launch was attended by representatives from the Governments of Guinea and Mali, as well as Hisanobu Hasama, Ambassador of Japan to Guinea, who assured his country’ support to both governments.
During the launch, IOM Guinea Chief of Mission Fatou Diallo Ndiaye highlighted the complex security situation in the Sahel region, as well as strong willingness from both Governments to address challenges related to cross-border movements.
“Despite efforts to ensure that information on cross-border migration is effectively captured, some gaps still exist in the border management and technical capacities in both countries,” said Ndiaye.
Activities within the border management project include: border control posts; installation of Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) at the border posts; border management and MIDAS training; and cross-border knowledge-sharing meetings between Guinean and Malian border management officials.
Since 2015, the Government of Japan has supported IOM’s interventions in Guinea and the surrounding region following the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).Africa and Middle EastGuineaDefault:
Thailand - The UN Migration Agency (IOM), in cooperation with the Thai Immigration Bureau, organized last week a three-day workshop in the southern Thai city of Hat Yai, to train 15 Thai and 11 Malaysian immigration officers on integrated border management.
The training was designed to improve cooperation and information-sharing between the two immigration services and covered themes of common interest, including transnational policing, behavioural assessment, security questioning and fraudulent document identification.
A simulation exercise was carried out on the final day of the workshop to allow Thai officers and their Malaysian counterparts to practice working together, in planning and implementing joint investigation of human smuggling and trafficking cases.
“Human trafficking and migrant smuggling are transnational crimes and require concerted and coordinated efforts by governments,” said Joshua Hart, an IOM Thailand project manager.
“Cross-border trainings like these strengthen relationships between frontline immigration officers and help promote the kind of harmonized border management practices that are needed to combat these crimes,” he added.
The workshop was the last in a series of four cross-border trainings involving officials in Thailand and three neighbouring countries – Cambodia, Myanmar and Malaysia.
The trainings, which were part of a Canadian-funded IOM project, Strengthening Border Management and Intelligence Capacity of Thai Government Officials, involved a total of 116 immigration officers from the four countries.
Under the project, IOM will continue to work with the Thai Immigration Bureau in the coming months, organizing workshops on transnational crime and facilitating cross-border dialogue with immigration officials from neighbouring countries.
Border management is a priority issue for Thailand, which has land borders with Malaysia, Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR) and Myanmar. Transnational crime, including illicit drug trafficking, trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling, are issues of grave concern for Thailand and the region.AsiaThailandDefault:
Sudan - On 4 May, Sudan’s Federal Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) and the UN Migration Agency (IOM) signed a renewed Protocol of Cooperation to strengthen their collaboration on IOM’s humanitarian work plan 2017-2018 at both federal and state levels.
The Protocol commits to improving the welfare of and assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and affected populations in communities across Sudan through information collection and assistance, as well as to supporting the technical capacities of HAC in the field of human mobility within Sudan (including monitoring of migrants’ inflow to Sudan for the provision of humanitarian assistance).
“We are trying to achieve the same goals and we should build on having transparent cooperation that serves internally displaced people and returnees, who are of utmost concern to the Government of Sudan today,” said HAC General Commissioner Ahmed Mohammed Adam.
IOM Sudan Chief of Mission Mario Lito Malanca expressed his appreciation for the continued commitment of the Government of Sudan to addressing human mobility challenges in the country, as well as to providing the assistance needed.
On 13 October 1998, the Government of Sudan and IOM established a general framework for cooperation between both entities in Sudan. After IOM joined the United Nations last year, the Protocol of Cooperation needed to be renewed.
The Protocol recognizes IOM’s Council Resolution No. 1310, adopted by Member States at the 106th Session of the Council on 24 November 2015, regarding ‘Migration Governance Framework’. It aims to improve IOM’s contribution to effective, responsible migration governance and supports the development and implementation of migration-related policy that maximizes migration’s benefits. The protocol also focuses on enhancing the humane and orderly management of migration; supporting efforts to address irregular migration and root causes; and providing research, analysis and expert advice.
The Protocol acknowledges the leading role of HAC/National IDP Centre in the framework of the Return, Reintegration and Early Recovery (RRR) Sector. Emphasis is on providing support for the voluntary return and reintegration of IDPs and returnees in Sudan (from areas of displacement to their places of origin and/or to areas of resettlement) or their voluntary reintegration in the host communities, in accordance with the 2009 National Policy for IDPs.
For further information, please contact Dalia Elroubi at IOM Sudan, Tel: +249 156 554 Ext 600/1, Email: email@example.com.Posted: Friday, May 5, 2017 - 16:36Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastSudanDefault:
United States - On 3 May 2017 the UN Migration Agency (IOM) signed an agreement with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) to launch a new two-year project in Ghana and Ethiopia. The project is aimed at strengthening migration governance to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
IOM will implement the Integrating Migration into National Development Plans: Towards Policy Coherence and the Achievement of the SDGs at National and Global Levels project, funded by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Sub-Fund. The funding is part of a commitment announced by the People’s Republic of China during the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015.
The project will support policy formulation, fostering a whole-of-government approach to accelerating progress on implementation of the SDGs. IOM and its partners will work together to develop coherent national SDG strategies; enhance coordination across governments; develop capacities to collect data; plan, implement, monitor and evaluate progress on national SDG indicators.
This project will draw on IOM’s substantial technical experience in mainstreaming migration at the national level. It will build upon the lessons learnt from a joint IOM-UNDP project Mainstreaming Migration into National Development Strategies, which enabled eight countries and their UN Country Team partners to develop a context specific, evidence-based, participatory approach to migration and development.
“IOM looks forward to strengthening collaboration with our Ghanaian and Ethiopian government counterparts, as well as partner UN agencies, to ensure migration issues are well integrated into national planning, and that migration is for the benefit of all and a choice rather than a desperate necessity,” stated Ashraf El Nour, Director of IOM’s Office to the United Nations in New York.
For further information, please contact Lanna Walsh at IOM New York, Tel. +1 212 681 7000 ext. 263, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPosted: Friday, May 5, 2017 - 16:35Image: Region-Country: AmericaUnited States of AmericaDefault:
United Kingdom - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) has joined the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), which makes financial information about humanitarian aid easier to access, use and understand.
Developing countries face challenges in accessing up-to-date information about aid, development, and humanitarian flows needed to plan and manage resources effectively. People in developing countries and donor countries lack the information they need to hold their governments accountable for the use of those resources.
IATI is a voluntary, multi-stakeholder initiative that seeks to improve the transparency of aid, development, and humanitarian resources to increase their effectiveness in tackling poverty. It brings together donor and recipient countries, civil society organizations, and other experts in aid information, who are committed to working together to increase the transparency and openness of aid.
IOM has committed to start publishing information on its activities and results under IATI within a year from joining. IOM data will be available and used by a variety of stakeholders, from academia, governments, partner organizations, beneficiaries and the general public.
This commitment to IATI and transparency is an important element in further pursuing IOM’s long-standing commitment to maintain the highest level of efficiency of its operations. The organization decided to join the initiative after subscribing to the Grand Bargain, an agreement of more than 30 of the biggest donors and aid providers, which aims to get more means into the hands of people in need.
“The UN Migration Agency (IOM) considers transparency as key in making humanitarian action accountable, towards beneficiaries, donors and the public,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing. “IOM’s reporting in accordance with the IATI standard will benefit already existing initiatives, with the aim of improving accountability and efficient humanitarian programming.”
“As a member of IATI and signatory to the Grand Bargain, we are committed to actively contributing to the development of the standard, to ensure that it effectively meets the needs of the humanitarian community,” he continued.
IOM joins over 80 IATI members from across the development, aid and humanitarian sectors. More information on these organizations and how to join IATI can be found in their Members’ Assembly section.
For further information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79403 53 65, Email: email@example.com or Rohini Simbodyal at IATI in the UK, Tel: +44 7814 178740, Email: Rohini.Simbodyal@devinit.orgPosted: Friday, May 5, 2017 - 16:34Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaUnited KingdomDefault:
Somalia - In November 2016, rains failed for the third year in a row, forcing Somalia into a devastating drought. From then until March 2017, over 600,000 people have been displaced within the country.
This number is rising. Forced to abandon their homes and livelihoods in search of food and water, more than 8,000 people are newly displaced each day.
Water is scarce. Animals are dying of thirst and families must travel further and further to find the nearest water source. People’s health conditions are deteriorating due to severe malnourishment and associated illnesses, as well as outbreaks of cholera and measles. As many as 6.2 million of Somalia’s 12.3 million population are in dire need of humanitarian assistance.Posted: Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - 16:45Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastSomaliaDefault: