Home / Press Room IOM

Press Room IOM

Trafficking in Persons Commission Launches First Training Manual to Combat Human Trafficking in Afghanistan

IOM - News - Mar, 04/03/2018 - 11:06

Kabul – The Afghan High Commission to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (TIP Commission) has organized a workshop in Kabul to finalize a training manual for Afghan government and NGO stakeholders on identifying and assisting victims of trafficking in Afghanistan.

The Commission, which includes representatives from government ministries, the judiciary and civil society, drew up the Training Manual in Trafficking in Persons, Afghanistan 2017 following a series of consultations with its constituent agencies.

The manual, which is the first of its kind in Afghanistan, is part of a multi-year USAID-funded, IOM project designed to strengthen the country’s capacity to respond to trafficking in persons.

It will be used by national and international stakeholders to train Afghan law enforcement agencies including border police, immigration officials, members of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), NGOs specializing in counter trafficking, shelter managers, and community leaders such as members of shuras, imams and university lecturers. 

The US State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report describes Afghanistan as a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Internal trafficking is more prevalent than transnational trafficking.

Men, women, and children are often exploited in bonded labour. An initial debt assumed by a worker as part of the terms of employment is exploited, ultimately entrapping other family members, sometimes for multiple generations. This is particularly prevalent in the brick-making industry in eastern Afghanistan, where entire families are trapped in debt bondage.

Other victims include children exploited in carpet making, domestic servitude, commercial sex, begging, poppy cultivation, transnational drug smuggling and the trucking industry.

Afghans returning from Iran and Pakistan are particularly vulnerable to trafficking and unaccompanied minors are often targeted by smugglers and traffickers in the communities where returnees have re-settled.

“Human trafficking is a huge concern in Afghanistan. This manual will fill a knowledge gap and build the capacity of law enforcement and other responders to recognize the crime, identify victims and provide effective victim support,’ said IOM Afghanistan Chief of Mission Laurence Hart.

For more information, please contact IOM Afghanistan: Eva Schwoerer, Tel. +93 729 229 129, Email: eschwoerer@iom.int, Nasir Ahmad Haidarzai, Tel. +93 794 100 542, Email: nhaidarzai@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 16:58Image: Region-Country: AfghanistanThemes: Capacity BuildingCounter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Panasonic Solar Lanterns Bring Light to Displaced Communities in Ethiopia

IOM - News - Mar, 04/03/2018 - 10:38

Addis Ababa – On its 100th anniversary, Panasonic Corporation has announced the successful completion of the 100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project, which has brought light to off-grid communities in 30 countries, through 131 organizations, in the last five years. 

Ethiopia benefited from the project through the donation of 2,400 solar lanterns which were distributed by IOM, the UN Migration Agency to displaced families in rural settings. 

The solar lanterns enhanced security and connectivity through provision of light and mobile charging capacity in line with the Panasonic Corporation’s aim to improve and enhance the quality of life in emerging economies and developing countries. The project contributed to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at mobilizing global efforts to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity. 

Farah Hashi, a 60-year-old elder received a lantern on behalf of the community mosque at a displacement site for people affected by drought in the Somali Region of Ethiopia. The mosque gathers more than 50 people, five times a day for daily prayers, three of which are carried out in the dark. “We used to burn wood or use battery operated torch lights for the evening prayers. The closest battery shop is several kilometers away, so maintaining the torch was a challenge,” Hashi explained. He noted that the solar lanterns, “will bring a sense of security and light to our mosque; so we are very grateful for Panasonic.”  

Yousuf Mohamed, a 40-year-old caretaker for the youth centre in the area stated, “This gives us light and we can also charge mobile phones with it. We had to pay five birr (0.18 USD) for each mobile charge and stay at the town for hours until the phones were charged. We have to make that trip at least three times a week, so this is very useful.” 

IOM’s distribution of the lanterns reached 100 communities displaced by drought which has severely impacted Ethiopia since 2015. 

IOM Ethiopia Chief of Mission Maureen Achieng, explaining the benefit of the distribution of lanterns through private sector partnerships said, “Displacement often occurs in rural settings where social amenities like electricity are limited, a fact that further exacerbates the vulnerability of displaced populations, especially women and girls.” 

She added, “These lanterns will contribute significantly to the protection of affected communities, reducing risks and insecurities and enabling them to pursue their lives and livelihoods in safety and dignity.”

For more information, please contact Alemayehu Seifeselassie at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251911639082, Email: salemayehu@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 15:40Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: Community StabilizationInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Displaced communities in Ethiopia receive solar lanterns from Panasonic Corporation, distributed by IOM. © IOM

Displaced communities in Ethiopia receive solar lanterns from Panasonic Corporation distributed by IOM. © IOM

Displaced communities in Ethiopia receive solar lanterns from Panasonic Corporation distributed by IOM. © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 14,651 in 2018; Deaths Reach 498

IOM - News - Mar, 04/03/2018 - 09:38

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 14,651 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first 91 days of 2018, with about 42 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece (35%) Spain (23%) and Cyprus (less than 1%).

This compares with 29,221 at this point in 2017, and with 165,697 at this point in March in 2016..

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported Monday that over the four days (27-30 March), the Hellenic Coast Guard informed IOM of at least five incident requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Lesvos. The Coast Guard rescued 175 migrants and transferred them to that island.

An additional 585 irregular migrants landed at the islands of Samos, Chios, Rhodes, Kos—as well as several landings at Lesvos that did not require rescue—to bring the total for irregular arrivals to Greece through 30 March to 5,098 (see chart below), a figure some 40% higher than at this same time last year.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that total arrivals by sea in 2018 have reached 3,345 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 1 April. That compares with 2,426 through all of March 2017.

The 498 deaths on the three Mediterranean Sea so far this year compare with 739 at this time in 2017, a decline of about 37% year-on-year.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded has recorded 800 deaths and disappearances during migration in 2018, compared with 1,374 at this time last year. Part of the difference is statistical: MMP has complete data, for example, for all of March 2017's missing migrants identified in the U.S.-Mexico boirder reguion, but will not have complete data for last month for several more days. Similarly, MMP does not have complete data for North Africa, where an estimated 217 people died through this date last year(see chart below).

Today's data do not include the deaths of six refugees killed in Tanzania in a traffic accident while being transported back to their homes in Burundi in an eight-bus convoy operated by IOM. Nor do today's data include the reports of migrants missing in Greece's Evros River, where reports have yet to be confirmed.

Most recently, six migrants died in Central America when making their way north to the border with the U.S. On 26 March, a boat carrying 10 migrants from the Colombian town of Capurganá to Panama capsized off Puerto Obaldía, in Guna Yala, northeast Panama. Five survivors and the remains of a man and an infant girl were recovered by the Panama border police, while three migrants remain missing. In Mexico, the body of a young man was retrieved near train tracks in Las Julietas de Torréon, Coahuila on 26 March.

There were three other additions to the Missing Migrants Project database since last week’s update. On the US-Mexico border, where 56 migrant deaths have been recorded this year, a 40-year-old Mexican woman was found dead in Mexicali, Baja California on 24 March.

In Italy, a Nigerian woman died 24 March after being rejected at the border with France. In addition, a 16-year-old Eritrean migrant died Wednesday at a hospital in Lille, France, from injuries he sustained after jumping from a truck near Port of Calais last Friday, 23 March.

On the Greece-Turkey border, a rescue operation was launched on Wednesday to locate migrants who were reported missing at the Evros river in north-eastern Greece, where water levels were very high due to heavy rainfall over the past few days.

 

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

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

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

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

For more information, please contact:

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 15:36Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Chilean Mayors in Dominican Republic to Share Experiences on Migration and Local Development

IOM - News - Mar, 04/03/2018 - 09:36

Santo Domingo — Mayors of three Chilean cities arrived yesterday in the Dominican Republic to participate in several meetings with approximately 200 Dominican mayors in which they will discuss the link between migration and local development. The meeting is part of the Migrants and Cities program implemented by IOM Chile since 2014. 

Since 2010, around 18,000 Dominicans have received a Chilean visa. Two out of every three of these migrants are women, and 75 per cent of Dominicans living in Chile are between the ages of 15 and 44 years. They have settled mainly in the Chilean capital and mostly work in the services sector. 

Given the increased migrant flows, Chilean cities have generated public policies to integrate migrants into local development. Such strategies include ensuring access to education and facilitating health care for immigrants. 

Supported by the IOM Development Fund (IDF), the National Institute of Migration (INM) of the Dominican Republic, and the Dominican Federation of Municipalities (FEDOMU) organized this exchange between both countries. The three participants from Chile were Álvaro Ortiz, mayor of Concepción, who also represents the Association of Municipalities of Chile (AChM); Gonzalo Durán, Mayor of Independencia, and Rodrigo Delgado, Mayor of Estación Central and President of AChM's Commission of Migratory Affairs. Two of these mayors represent the Metropolitan Region, where 79 per cent of the Dominican migrant population is concentrated. 

"We are modeling a new migration governance, and incorporating local governments is the next challenge. This exchange between town governments of Chile and the Dominican Republic let us know the good practices developed in the Chilean context," said Jorge Baca, IOM's Chief of Mission in the Dominican Republic. 

"Furthermore, we have seen that a fundamental change of immigration towards the Dominican Republic is its urban character. Therefore, the importance of creating spaces to dialogue and direct attention to the challenges confronted by local governments in the face of the emigration of their citizens, the link with the diaspora and the arrival of immigrants and their participation in local development," Baca added. 

"These exchanges empower and validate spaces of high importance for the integration and social inclusion of migrants from a local level," said Norberto Girón, IOM's Chief of Mission in Chile, who is accompanying the Chilean mayors.

Girón added, "On the other hand, it is a substantive effort that is made in coordination with the Chilean Association of Municipalities, through a cooperation agreement signed in January of this year with its president Felipe Delpin."

For more information, please contact: Alicia Sangro Blasco, IOM Dominican Republic, Tel: +1 809 688 81 74, Email: asangro@iom.int, José Estay, IOM Chile, Email: jestay@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 15:31Image: Region-Country: Dominican RepublicThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Mayors from Chile and the Dominican Republic will discuss migration and local development in Santo Domingo, as part of the IOM project “Migrants and Cities”. Photo: FEDOMU

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Regrets Loss of Life in Tragic Road Accident in Tanzania

IOM - News - Ven, 03/30/2018 - 17:56

Dar es Salaam - IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, moved swiftly to assist victims of a tragic road accident in Tanzania that occurred Thursday (29/03) around 16:30 local time, and took the lives of eight people—including one IOM team member, six refugees and one Tanzanian citizen, who was working alongside the roadway. Support to victims of the accident is being provided by the Government of Tanzania, as well as, the UN, including IOM, the UN Migration Agency, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and the World Food Programme (WFP).
 
Jamal Mohamud, an IOM employee acting as emergency coordinator at the site, said on Friday (30/03), "the accident happened during the transport of 515 Burundians undertaking voluntary return in a convoy of eight buses chartered by IOM."
 
The tragedy occurred at the Kilometer 9 location near Ngara town in Kagera Region on the highway leading to Tanzania’s border and involved two of the convoy’s eight buses. A total of 114 passengers were on board those two vehicles. Almost all of the survivors were treated for cuts and other minor injuries and discharged, Mohamud said, while 16 passengers suffering more extensive injuries were taken to a nearby hospital. The remaining survivors, including those passengers in the six undamaged buses, have gone to the government’s Lumasi Transit Center for food, shelter and counseling.
 
“It is clear that this accident—and the resulting deaths and injuries—is a major human tragedy,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing, “one that requires us to continue to see that those injured receive urgent medical aid and that every effort be made to identify and handle with appropriate respect and dignity the bodies of the deceased. IOM will ensure that all possible support and assistance be given to all survivors and any next-of-kin, including psycho-social care for those in need of such.”
 
For more information, please contact Qasim Sufi, IOM Tanzania, Tel: +255 659 125 842, Email: qsufi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, March 30, 2018 - 23:50Image: Region-Country: United Republic of TanzaniaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

5000 Displaced Burundians Move to Long-term Housing as Four Displacement Camps Close

IOM - News - Gio, 03/29/2018 - 15:32

Bujumbura - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has provided long-term shelter for more than 5,000 internally displaced Burundians. This sustainable shelter support was funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and carried out in partnership with the Government of Burundi and the Burundian and Luxembourgish Red Cross.

Following floods and landslides, thousands of people – including over 4,000 women and children – were displaced for two years to four camps in Gatumba and Rumonge. A decommissioning process began in January 2018 to improve the living conditions of internally displaced people in the displacement camps: Cashi, Gitaza, Mushasha I and Mushasha II.

The support provided to help those displaced transition from the camps included the construction of semi-permanent shelters and the provision of rental support, depending on their situation. Those who rented housing before the natural disaster or could provide a land title in areas deemed safe from the threat of natural disasters, received rental support. Others with secure and approved land in the hills of Rumonge were provided with transitional shelter, while the most vulnerable households received transitional shelter on plots provided by the Government.

All received aid packages containing blankets, mosquito nets, floor mats, soap and a kitchen set, as well as dignity kits provided by UNFPA, the UN Population Fund. IOM also provided agricultural kits to households receiving rental support in Gatumba and Rumonge. These tools will help generate income, with the aim of eventually supporting themselves beyond the six months of rental support provided. The agricultural equipment included a shovel, two hoes, a watering can and an agricultural backpack sprayer for herbicide applications.

“The closing of this camp is helpful for us because it decreases various disease,” explained Jean, formerly displaced and a camp leader from Mushasha II in Gatumba, the western part of Bujumbura province.

“Fortunately, charity organizations helped us with the medical cards that gave us access to public health centres. Closing this will help us fight against diseases. We are also grateful for the rental support… The most important is to leave these small tents because it is not easy here, because diseases can be easily transmitted. It is also difficult when you have children, particularly the ones who are grown up. You understand how uncomfortable it is when you are a parent,” said Jean. He expressed hope that the closure of the camps would put an end to these grievances.

In Rumonge, some 100 kilometres south of Bujumbura, a total of 159 houses were built at sites determined to have reduced risk of potential damage from natural disasters. Former internally displaced people will be housed in semi-permanent shelters on their land of origin.

The most vulnerable internally displaced people, who either did not have land of their own or whose land was not approved due to disaster risks, were provided with plots in an area of land granted by the Government of Burundi in Kigwena. There, IOM, in collaboration with the Burundian and Luxembourgish Red Cross, built 174 transitional shelters for former internally displaced people and members of the host community.

“Today marks an important moment not just for the 5,022 internally displaced people receiving shelter assistance, aid packages, transport assistance and reintegration support, but for the entire country as new communities come together and opportunities for improved wellbeing arise,” said AJ Morgen, IOM Chief of Mission. “The IOM team and its partners, in close cooperation with the Government of Burundi, have worked tirelessly over the past several months to provide sustainable solutions for some of Burundi’s most vulnerable displaced people. While the decommissioning of these four camps is a significant step in addressing the most pressing needs of the internally displaced, we must not forget about the nearly 170,000 Burundians who still remain internally displaced,” said Morgen.

The official ceremony for the decommissioning of the four camps was attended by AJ Morgen, Chief of Mission; Juvénal Bigirimana, Governor of Rumonge; Reverien Simbarakiye, Directeur Général pour la Réintégration des Sinistres; Deo Rusengwamihigo, Conseiller Principal chargé des questions sociales à la 2ème vice-présidence de la République; and representatives of partnering UN agencies and NGOs, including UNFPA, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), CARE and World Vision.

The decommissioning of the four camps is part of IOM’s continued efforts to support long-term solutions for those affected by crises in Burundi. However, nearly 170,000 people remain displaced from their homes throughout the country. Of these, 70 per cent are displaced due to natural disasters, many of them in the provinces of Bujumbura namely Mairie, Bubanza, Gitega, Cankuzo and Bujumbura Rural.  

For more information, please contact Marta Leboreiro Núñez in IOM Burundi, Tel +257 75 40 02 24, Email: mleboreiro@iom.int

Language English Posted: Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 21:16Image: Region-Country: BurundiThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

A formerly displaced mother and child in Burundi. Photo: IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UNODC, IOM Launch New Initiative to Counter Migrant Smuggling

IOM - News - Mer, 03/28/2018 - 10:24

Vienna (UN Information Service) — Two United Nations agencies are joining forces to combat migrant smuggling. Today (28/03) at the UN in Vienna, IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) organized an event centring on a Joint Platform on Countering Migrant Smuggling.

Opening the event, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said: “We must work together to deny criminals the means and opportunity, to protect the lives and safety of people, and end the impunity of smugglers.”

He welcomed this joint initiative to pool and leverage the expertise and experience of both organizations in the fight against migrant smuggling, saying: “UNODC is committed to expanding our work and exploring ways of bringing UN agencies together, including to ensure that criminal justice responses to migrant smuggling are part of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches”.

Argentina Szabados, Director of IOM’s Regional Office for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia said: “As Ambassador Swing, our Director General has often stated, there is no lack of political will or legal protection for migrants, the gap is in implementation. The smuggling of migrants across borders is a transnational crime and requires transnational cooperation. We need action. Too many lives are being lost, and too much suffering is being endured.”

During these journeys, migrants face abuse and exploitation, inhumane treatment and sexual violence.

On a global level and through its regional and country offices IOM has contributed towards preventing and combatting migrant smuggling for many years. In 2016, it adopted a Comprehensive Approach to Counter Migrant Smuggling which defines four key pillars of work: protection and assistance; addressing the causes; enhancing States’ capacity to disrupt the activities of migrant smugglers; and promoting research and data collection

UNODC is the guardian of the United Nations Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants under the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

Through global, regional and national programmes managed from Vienna and a network of field offices, UNODC is supporting States in countering migrant smuggling through legislative assistance and capacity building to investigate and prosecute smuggling-related offences as well as dismantle organized criminal groups, protect the rights of smuggled migrants and strengthen international cooperation.

UNODC has also produced a series of tools and policy papers, including the web-based Smuggling of Migrants Knowledge Portal, and has led public campaigns against migrant smuggling in different parts of the world. In 2018, UNODC will publish a Global Study on the Smuggling of Migrants.

The new IOM-UNODC initiative encourages the main stakeholders to join forces against the smuggling of migrants. This may include joint research; reinforcing Member States’ capacities - upon request - to dismantle criminal networks engaging in migrant smuggling; enhancing assistance to smuggled migrants; or supporting the development of prevention strategies and action plans.

***

Promoting and facilitating orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration as stated in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10 is essential for saving lives, promoting regular and orderly migration, putting migrant smugglers out of business and leading to inclusive development.

The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, adopted unanimously by all 193 Member States of the UN in 2016, provides a powerful platform for the assistance of migrants and combatting migrant smuggling. The New York Declaration set in motion a process of intergovernmental consultations and negotiations culminating in the planned adoption of the Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. Strengthening the transnational response to smuggling of migrants is being addressed in the negotiations towards the adoption of the Global Compact.

***

For further information please contact

UNODC: Sonya Yee, Programme Officer, Tel: (+43 1) 26060-4990, Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-4990
Email: sonya.yee@un.org

IOM: Joe Lowry, Senior Media and Communications Officer, IOM Regional Office in Vienna, Tel: (+43 1) 581 22 22 24, Email: jlowry@iom.int

Language English Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 16:22Image: Region-Country: AustriaThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

UNODC Executive Director Yuri Fedotov and IOM Regional Director Argentina Szabados opening the IOM/UNODC event on a Joint Platform for Migrant Smuggling at the UN in Vienna today. © IOM

IOM Regional Director Argentina Szabados delivering opening remarks at the joint IOM/UNODC event on migrant smuggling at the UN in Vienna today. © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 13,355 in 2018; Deaths Reach 498

IOM - News - Mar, 03/27/2018 - 09:43

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 13,355 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first 84 days of 2018, with about 46 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece (32%) Spain (22%) and Cyprus (less than 1%).

This compares with 27,008 at this point in 2017, and with 163,895 at this point in March in 2016.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo said Monday that Italy has reported no new arrivals to ports for the past week. The 6,161 arrivals of irregular migrants by sea so far, this year are less than 30 per cent of the total in 2017, and about 42 per cent of the total at this time in 2016.

For the month of March, traditionally the start of the busiest season on the Mediterranean’s Central route, traffic is down to the lowest level at least since 2016. Last year during the first 25 days of March, 8,489 men, women and children arrived in Italy on this route; in 2016 the total for the first 25 days of March was 5,404.

This year’s monthly total – 914 arrivals – comes to just over 10 per cent of the 2017 total, and 17 per cent of 2016 (see chart below).

 

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported Monday that over the four days (21-24 March) the Hellenic Coast Guard informed IOM of at least two incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Lesvos.

The Coast Guard rescued 128 migrants and transferred them to that island. Another 77 migrants reportedly landed on Lesvos, plus 32 on Leros, bringing total arrivals through 24 March to 4,215. In 2017, the total on the same date was 3,496 – making arrivals for the first three months of 2018 about 20 per cent heavier than was seen on this route than last year (see chart below).

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that total arrivals by sea in 2018 have reached 2,932 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 24 March. That compares with 2,426 through all of March 2017.

The 498 deaths on the three Mediterranean Sea so far this year compare with 788 at this time in 2017, a decline of about 37 per cent year-on-year.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 789 deaths and disappearances during migration in 2018, or virtually the same total reported last year just for the Mediterranean (see chart below).

Most recently, the body of an unidentified African migrant was found washed up to the shore of Tripoli, Libya on Tuesday, 20 March.

Other additions to the Missing Migrants Project database since last Friday’s update include three migrants in Southeast Asia. The three, from Myanmar, were killed while another eight were injured in a crash on 17 March in Tambon Ban Paeng, Thailand after their van hit a truck and caught fire.

On the US-Mexico border, where 55 migrant deaths have been recorded this year, a 35-year-old Honduran migrant was found dead Thursday after he drowned while attempting to cross the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo at Reynosa, Mexico.

The bodies of two migrants were found in Texas on March 15th – one on a ranch near Falfurrias, the other near Sarita, Texas.

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

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 15:13Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Fostering Integrated Border Management in Ukraine

IOM - News - Mar, 03/27/2018 - 09:35

Kyiv – With seven neighbours, over 150 international and inter-state border crossing points, Ukraine has one of the longest and busiest frontiers in Europe.

Almost 100 million people and over 20 million vehicles crossed Ukraine’s borders last year – respectively a nine per cent and a two per cent increase on 2016.

IOM, the UN Migration Agency has just signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation with the State Fiscal Service (SFS) of Ukraine which sets out to help Ukraine ensure the right balance between open and controlled borders.

“We aim to support Ukraine in facilitating secure, transparent and more efficient border procedures for the benefit of cross-border trade and movement of persons in the region,” said IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission, Dr. Thomas Lothar Weiss, after signing the memorandum of understanding with the acting Head of the SFS, Myroslav Prodan.

The memorandum covers issues such as customs modernization in Ukraine, simplification of border crossing formalities, harmonization of border crossing procedures and their adaptation to EU best practices, improvement of inter-agency cooperation on border management, enhancement of risk management and the capacity to counter illicit movement of goods, irregular border crossings and corruption.

“We are also creating opportunities for cooperation on the enhancement of human resources management and training of personnel, improvement of the customs infrastructure at the border crossing points, and instalment of modern equipment,” said Prodan.

IOM and the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine started cooperating in 2013 through several EU-funded projects, benefitting customs authorities of Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, as well as travellers, businesses and cargo operators.

The recently launched EU-funded project Enhancing Integrated Border Management along the Ukraine-Moldova Border, implemented by IOM, is aimed at renovating and equipping – from furniture and servers to weighing and inspection equipment − two border crossing points: Kuchurhan-Pervomaisc and Reni-Giurgiulesti.

For more information, please contact Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine, Tel: +38 044 568 50 15, +38 967 447 97 92, Email: vzhluktenko@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 15:18Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Thomas Lothar Weiss, IOM Chief of Mission in Ukraine and Myroslav Prodan, acting Head of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine sign MoU. © IOM

Crossing point Novi Yarylovychi – Nova Huta at the Ukrainian-Belarusian border © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM, YouTube Stars Launch Campaign to Prevent Exploitation in Manufacturing

IOM - News - Mar, 03/27/2018 - 09:35

Bangkok Young Thais truly have the power to change the world. This was the message at the launch of IOM X’s Do you know who made it? campaign today (27/03), which asks young Thais to take the lead in making smart purchasing decisions that reinforce the fair treatment of workers in the manufacturing industry.

IOM X is a campaign to prevent human trafficking and exploitation, run by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

In partnership with some of Thailand’s top YouTube stars, IOM X will reach more than 13 million Thai YouTube users with stories that highlight both the good side and the bad side of the manufacturing industry.

From Bie the Ska’s drama depicting a father’s misery on the production line of a mobile phone factory, producing the very product his daughter is begging him for; to VRZO’s Happy, an ironic look at how clothes are marketed, versus how they are made; and BILLbilly01’s animated music video highlighting the fact that there are real people making the clothes that we wear; IOM X’s Do you know who made it? campaign takes a deep dive into the manufacturing industry.

YouTube creator Softpomz gets the inside scoop from kids on what’s fair and what’s not when it comes to work, while Picnicly interviews restaurant owners working to improve the lives of their staff and suppliers.

“Here’s the truth: whenever we make a purchase, we risk supporting exploitation,” said IOM X Programme Leader Tara Dermott. “But if we choose what we buy wisely, we can contribute to breaking the cycle of abuse that harms the people behind the products.”

There are approximately 16.6 million people in forced labour situations in Asia Pacific, across a variety of industries, including manufacturing. Annual illegal profits from forced labour in Asia, including in the manufacturing sector, are an estimated USD 52 billion.

Human trafficking victims in manufacturing jobs in Asia Pacific often live in substandard housing, are not paid their full salaries, and have their documents confiscated to prevent them from leaving their jobs.

They may be subjected to unpaid overtime hours or hazardous working conditions (such as working with toxic chemicals and dangerous machinery), and are at risk of injuries resulting from repetitive motions. Not having the right protective clothing and gear can lead to serious health issues such as cancer, respiratory illnesses, dermatological problems, liver damage, hearing problems and neurological problems.

Debt bondage – the practice of forcing someone to pay off a loan by working – is a common practice used in the manufacturing industry to keep victims bound to their workplace. For example, a migrant working in the electronics manufacturing industry in Southeast Asia pays an average of USD 500-1,200 in recruitment fees; often these fees are then deducted from the worker’s salary.

IOM X launched the Do you know who made it? campaign with USAID, Google Thailand, Love Frankie and TQPR.

Visit IOMX.org/tham to better understand where the products you buy come from, and how you can help prevent the exploitation of the people who make them. High-resolution photos and further information are available at https://tinyurl.com/IOMXYouTube.

For more information please contact Mia Barrett at IOM X, Tel: +66 84 705 2114, Email: mbarrett@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 15:21Image: Region-Country: ThailandThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

Behind the scenes of Picnicly's video. © IOM X

Behind the scenes of Bie the Ska's video. © IOM X

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

First International Dialogue on Migration of 2018 Underway in New York: IOM

IOM - News - Mar, 03/27/2018 - 09:35

New York – The first International Dialogue on Migration (IDM) of 2018 – IOM, the UN Migration Agency’s major forum for policy dialogue – is currently underway. The first of the two dialogues to be held this year, this week’s discussions (26-27/03) are focusing on partnership and taking place at United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York.

“The IDM was established some 17 years ago to be a very large and welcoming meeting place, where our Member States can interact directly and openly with other relevant actors on migration governance, exchange views, and promote understanding of migration dynamics,” said IOM Director General, Ambassador William Lacy Swing, in his opening remarks.

Noting the timely focus of this year’s IDM on inclusive and innovative partnerships for effective global governance of migration, Ambassador Swing stated that the first-ever Global Compact for Migration “deserves close, concerted action from the international community as a whole to ensure successful review implementation and follow-up.”

Louise Arbour, the United Nations Special Representative for International Migration added, “The Secretary-General’s Report Making Migration Work for All called for the Global Compact to provide a positive agenda that would focus on helping migrants fulfil their potential, promote regular migration and address effectively the challenges of irregular migration.”

Among the participants of IDM are national and local governments; multiple ministries; civil society; the private sector, migrant and diaspora organizations; academia; the media; and others. Discussions explored different partnership models that exist in the field of migration and showcase their value by presenting some of the migration management tools developed through cooperation among different actors.

“The 50 million children who have migrated across borders or been forcibly displaced represent an incredible pool of talent and potential. These children must be front and centre of the global migration agenda this year,” said Henrietta H. Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. She urged all stakeholders to “make 2018 a year where we as a global community come together to scale up solutions for people on the move.”

“I do believe that topic chosen could not be more appropriate and timely. It is essential that actors come together to find partnerships which are inclusive and innovative,” said Guy Ryder, Director General, International Labour Organization (ILO). He added it was important to set the tone for more constructive dialogue which will take real leadership from all concerned.

IOM recognizes the paramount importance of cooperation and has been working in close partnership with all relevant stakeholders, including fellow UN agencies in areas such as migration and development, migration and climate change, children, trafficking and smuggling, labour and health.  

Julie Bolcer, Deputy Commissioner, Policy and Communications at NYC Mayor's Office for International Affairs said, “Our message is: Cities are ready to help, we have the expertise, and we know that in order to achieve an inclusive and human-centred global compact for migration, our voices need to be heard.”

Various issues were elaborated including the importance of partnerships in making data available for migration policymaking, achieving the migration-related Sustainable Development Goals and enhancing migrant worker protections and eliminating forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking.

The Dialogue will conclude today (27/03) focusing on topics such as partnership frameworks in place to effectively respond to the needs of vulnerable populations, the role of local authorities and cities in the migration management, and the whole-of-society partnerships while exploring methods of engaging non-State actors for good migration governance.

Watch today the IDM live from 10am EDT in the six UN official languages: http://webtv.un.org/

For more information, please contact IOM in New York:
Azzouz Samri, Tel: +41 794 425 228, Email: asamri@iom.int
Rahma Gamil Soliman, Tel: +1 917 515 7454, Email: rsoliman@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 15:19Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: IOM Development FundDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM DG William Lacy Swing speaks at IDM 2018 in New York. © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Appeals for USD 88.5 million for Response to Ethiopian Crisis

IOM - News - Ven, 03/23/2018 - 10:59

Addis Ababa – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has launched an appeal for USD 88,550,000 to help people in need of humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia. The appeal covers IOM’s activities under the humanitarian community and Government’s Ethiopia Humanitarian and Disaster Resilience Plan (HDRP), IOM’s assistance to Ethiopian migrant returnees from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and humanitarian support to refugees from neighbouring countries.

IOM’s appeal aims to support some of the 1.7 million Ethiopians displaced throughout the country, identified by IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). Approximately 1.1 million people are displaced due to conflict, 857,000 of whom were displaced near the borders of the Oromia and Somalia Regions over the past year, and over 500,000 people due to climatic shocks. In addition, 47,600 Ethiopian migrant returnees and 87,000 South Sudanese and Somali refugees are planned to be reached with support detailed in the appeal. Under this appeal, IOM will also support empowerment of young people and the strengthening of institutions in Ethiopia working on counter trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.

“We need to rethink the way we work in countries like Ethiopia,” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Director of Operations and Emergencies at the Organization’s headquarters in Geneva. “We want this appeal to mark the end of the “Band-Aid approach” and the start of longer term thinking. Millions of people are in dire need of our urgent support in Ethiopia, but we hope that the life-saving sustainable measures we put in place this year will mean that by next year more communities will be resilient to climate stresses like drought,” said Abdiker.

Ethiopia has had a fast-growing non-oil-related economy with double digit growth sustained over a decade. It has experienced massive investment in infrastructure and industry. However, in 2016, the worst El Niño induced drought in 50 years forced more than 10 million people to become depend on relief food assistance, while also eroding household and community resilience and increasing vulnerability nationwide. Last year, rains failed again, and, in south and south-eastern Ethiopia, 8.5 million Ethiopians were left in need of relief food assistance.

The 2018 Humanitarian and Disaster Resilience Plan released by the Government of Ethiopia National Disaster Risk Management Commission and the UN Humanitarian Coordinator shows that this year 16.4 million people will need humanitarian assistance throughout the country.

Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians leave home to seek employment in the Gulf countries, most often KSA. On 29 March 2017, KSA issued a Note Verbal declaring that all irregular migrants should voluntarily leave the country, among them an estimated 500,000 Ethiopians. To date more than 140,000 Ethiopians have returned. Many returnees come back to little and the push factors that encouraged them to leave in the first place are still present. IOM’s appeal covers reintegration support, which is vital for returnees to sustain their livelihood.

Ethiopia remains the second largest refugee-hosting country in Africa hosting over 909,000 refugees. Of these registered refugees, more than 428,928 are South Sudanese and 254,274 are Somali.

Transportation of newly arrived refugees from border entry points to the refugee camps remains a critical to ensure that they can access aid. Shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and livelihood support in the context of the Comprehensive Refuge Response Framework (CRRF) remains critically under-funded and are included in IOM’s current appeal.

“Ethiopia has bravely endured these difficult situations but to sustain its growing economy, it needs urgent support from the global community,” said Maureen Achieng, IOM Ethiopia Chief of Mission and Representative to the African Union (AU), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

Download the appeal here.

For more information, please contact Alemayehu Seifeselassie at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251.11. 5571707 (Ext. 455), Mobile: +251.91.163-9082 Email: salemayehu@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, March 23, 2018 - 17:59Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Internally displaced Ethiopians in Guji Zone, Oromia Region. Photo: Rikka Tupaz / IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration’s International Dialogue on Migration 2018 to Support Global Compact for Migration

IOM - News - Ven, 03/23/2018 - 10:59

New York – The International Dialogue on Migration (IDM) – a forum for policy dialogue between migrants’ countries of origin, transit and destination – will be held in New York City next week, 26-27 March.

As Member States negotiate a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration (GCM) to be adopted at the end of 2018, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, will continue to support the GCM development process by dedicating two workshops of its International Dialogue on Migration to the topic of inclusive and innovative partnerships for effective global governance of migration.

The first workshop of the IDM will be held Monday through Tuesday at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York.

The IDM forum will also include representatives of civil society, migrants’ groups, experts and other stakeholders. It provides an informal and non-binding setting in which all stakeholders have an equal right to participate, fostering trust, openness and genuine exchange while addressing the full range of migration issues and their linkages with other policy domains.

IOM recognizes the paramount importance of cooperation and has been working in close partnership with all relevant stakeholders, including fellow UN agencies in all these areas. As a result, many cooperation frameworks and tools have been developed jointly with UN Agencies and other partners.

These tools are made available by IOM and partner agencies for the development and adoption of a global compact, and subsequently for the implementation and follow-up stages.

During the 2017 IDM, IOM Director General William Lacy Swing pointed out that international cooperation should involve all relevant actors: national and local governments; multiple ministries; civil society; the private sector, migrant and diaspora organizations; academia; the media; and others. In addition, the importance of partnerships in migration, at all levels, was a key takeaway from the GCM stocktaking meeting, held in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in December 2017.

At this year’s IDM, discussions will explore different partnership models that exist in the field of migration and showcase their value by presenting some of the migration management tools developed through cooperation among different actors. Participants will have the opportunity to exchange good practices and experiences on successful and inclusive partnerships at local, national, regional and international levels, evaluate both achievements and challenges encountered, and consider what can be done to replicate and scale up such partnerships elsewhere.

A recent report of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Making Migration Work for All, states that “Managing migration is one of the most urgent and profound tests of international cooperation in our time.”

It is against this backdrop that the IDM will provide States, United Nations agencies and other partners an opportunity to demonstrate good partnership and coordination of efforts and discuss ways to improve collaboration. 

For more information on the agenda and meeting documents, please check the International Dialogue on Migration 2018 webpage: http://www.iom.int/inclusive-and-innovative-partnerships-effective-global-governance-migration

To watch the live webcast in the six UN official languages: http://webtv.un.org/

For more information, please contact Azzouz Samri, Governing Bodies Division, IOM International Cooperation and Partnerships, Email: asamri@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, March 23, 2018 - 17:55Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: IOM Development FundDefault: Multimedia: 

The IDM forum will include civil society, migrants’ groups, experts and other stakeholders. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 13,043 in 2018; Deaths Reach 497

IOM - News - Ven, 03/23/2018 - 10:58

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 13,043 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first 80 days of 2018, with about 47 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece (30%) Spain (22%) and Cyprus (less than 1%).

This compares with 25,505 at this point in 2017.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo said Thursday Italy has received no new arrivals of irregular migrants from North Africa since the weekend. Total arrivals for the year to date remain at 6,161, which is 70 per cent below last year’s total – 20,685 men, women and children – at this time and 58 per cent below the total for arrivals (14,792) in 2016 (see chart below).

OM Libya’s Christine Petré on Thursday reported that this week (20 March), IOM assisted 152 migrants to return home to Niger on one chartered flight.  Among the passengers were six medical cases. IOM Libya has assisted 10,790 since the scale-up phase started on 28 November 2017 and 4,551 migrants have received Voluntary Humanitarian Return assistance since the beginning of the year.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that total arrivals by sea in 2018 have reached 2,887 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 22 March. That compares with 2,426 through all of March 2017.

Dodevska noted that migrants to Spain this year are overwhelming adult males, mainly from Sub-Saharan Africa, with only 8 per cent female adult and 4 per cent minors (see chart).

 

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 782 migrant fatalities in 2018, compared with 1,200 at this time last year. In the Mediterranean alone, 497 migrants are estimated to have died this year, down from 635 at this date in 2017 (see chart below).

Most recently, the remains of a migrant were recovered on 18 March from a beach in Rota, Spain. In the past month, three bodies which are not associated with any known incident have been found in this area (one on 25 February, one on 8 March, and one last Sunday, 18 March). These deaths add to the growing list of people who have died trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Spain this year.

Additionally, the MMP team learned of one death on the US-Mexico border from early March: the remains of a young man were found on 7 March on the Río Bravo in Hidalgo County, Texas.

MMP data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on missing migrants are collected, click here.
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: mmocanu@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, March 23, 2018 - 17:53Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Five-year Extension of US Resettlement Agreement: IOM

IOM - News - Ven, 03/23/2018 - 10:58

Geneva/Washington – On 14 March, IOM, the UN Migration Agency and the United States Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) signed an agreement in Geneva, Switzerland, on the admission of refugees and other designated migrants during the period 2018 to 2023.

“IOM is pleased to announce that its 26-year-old resettlement agreement with the US Government has been extended for another five years,” said William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General, on signing the Memorandum of Understanding with PRM at the Organization’s headquarters. “This agreement affirms IOM’s strong programme management role in this key refugee resettlement response,” said Director General Swing.

IOM has a long history of support to the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) and works throughout the world with PRM and its principal refugee processing partners such as the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Refugee Processing Center (RPC), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and a variety of non-governmental agencies offering refugee assistance or resettlement services.

Globally, IOM partners with USRAP in four core areas of work: case processing, migration health assessment and travel health assistance, pre-departure orientation, and transportation and movement operations. From the initial selection of refugees to their arrival in the United States, this support helps ensure that refugees are empowered, well informed and properly prepared for resettlement.

For more information, please contact Michel Tonneau at IOM Washington, Tel: +1 202 804 4306, Email: mtonneau@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, March 23, 2018 - 17:51Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Director General William Lacy Swing (right) signs the extension of the US resettlement agreement. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Children, Youth Learn about Safe Migration with IOM’s Pedagogical Suitcase

IOM - News - Ven, 03/23/2018 - 10:57

San José – Teachers and community leaders from Central America and Mexico will be able to teach safe and regular migration to children and young people, thanks to the Pedagogical Suitcase on Migration, an online repository developed by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) which brings together more than 100 resources, methodologies, and educational activities.

"Between 2015 and 2016, 100,000 Central American and Mexican migrant children and young people were intercepted by immigration authorities at the border between Mexico and the United States. According to a UNICEF study, 62 per cent of victims of trafficking related to irregular migration in Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico are children and adolescents. The Pedagogical Suitcase on Migration will be an important tool for addressing these issues in a serious and informed manner in classrooms and communal areas where expulsion rates are high," explained Alexandra Bonnie, IOM’s Mesoamerica Program Coordinator.

The search for economic opportunities, the need for family reunification and the fight against discrimination and violence are the primary drivers of migration in the region. In the case of children and adolescents, one-third of them migrate for economic reasons and others for family reunification, taking risks that often endanger their lives. In this context, the Pedagogical Suitcase is a useful, updated and diverse tool that allows for a clear message about prevention and regular migration options.

As a pilot experience, IOM will support teachers from 15 schools from Mexico to Panama, so they can sustainably replicate the Pedagogical Suitcase methodology and take advantage of its contents.

Training has also begun in Mexico and Nicaragua. In the latter country, 30 teachers and government institution officials from the 13 municipalities of Chinandega were trained on Communication for Development (C4D) tools to implement campaigns to raise awareness and prevent irregular migration and human trafficking.

Teachers and community leaders can access the Pedagogical Migration Suitcase through the Internet. The repository provides contents regarding four thematic areas: prevention and risks; regular and safe migration; human trafficking; inclusion and rootedness. Each of these areas includes resources such as storybooks, informative flyers, comics, short videos, documentaries and radio spots, among others. Also, it offers a section with instructions for the development of activities such as film forums, workshops, and festivals.

Other UN agencies such as UNHCR and ILO have contributed with resources, as well as civil society organizations, to improve it continually.

The Pedagogical Migration Suitcase is part of the communication component of the Mesoamerica Program, which seeks to contribute to the development and implementation of strategies for regular, orderly and safe migration, ensuring adequate protection for migrants.

For more information please contact Patricia Ugalde at IOM Costa Rica, Tel: +506 2212-5300, Email: pugalde@iom.int or maletamigratoria@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, March 23, 2018 - 17:49Image: Region-Country: Costa RicaThemes: Capacity BuildingIOMDefault: Multimedia: 

The Pedagogical Suitcase on Migration includes resources such as storybooks, informative flyers, comics, short videos, documentaries and radio spots, among others. Also, it offers a section with instructions for the development of activities such as film forums, workshops, and festivals. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Tackling Human Trafficking in Belarus

IOM - News - Ven, 03/23/2018 - 10:57

Minsk - Belarus has been hit hard by human trafficking, with 5,500 known cases since 2002, mostly sexual and labour exploitation. The country is taking a dynamic approach to countering the phenomenon by prioritising protection, prevention and prosecution. In the same period, there have been 600 trafficking-related convictions.

These figures were discussed during two events in the capital Minsk this week. On Tuesday and Wednesday (20-21/03), a follow-up event for young people who had participated in a summer camp under the auspices of the UN Migration Agency’s IOM X campaign was held. IOM X is a campaign to encourage safe migration and public action to stop exploitation and human trafficking.

Participants reported on their ideas for anti-trafficking and related projects, were introduced to the project development concept, and will present their ideas to potential donors soon.

“We shared our ideas and got down to development of new projects," said Stephaniya Zmitrakovich, one of the participants. "I’m so excited about it. Of course, I was happy to meet again all the participants and organizers, share positive emotions and get inspiration for future achievements. I’m convinced that all together we’ll make the world better,” said Zmitrakovich.

On Wednesday (21/03), IOM ran a workshop for journalists to sharpen their skills in reporting on human trafficking and ensuring the dignified treatment of trafficking survivors. Similar events will be held across Belarus in the coming months.

“Irregular migration, including counter-trafficking, is top agenda item for many countries," said Zeynal Hajiyev, IOM Minsk Chief of Mission. "We have been cooperating with Belarus authorities in counter-trafficking for more than 15 years and we’ve always appreciated the efforts which Belarus makes both at the international and national levels. Belarus was one of the first countries that initiated national consultations on Global Compact on Migration, which includes combatting human trafficking among its priorities,” added Hajiyev.

The events were organized in conjunction with the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Belarus with the financial support of USAID, the Kingdom of Norway, and the British Embassy in Belarus.

For more information, please contact Olga Borzenkova, Tel: +375 29 648 48 27, Email: oborzenkova@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, March 23, 2018 - 17:47Image: Region-Country: BelarusThemes: Capacity BuildingCounter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

“Think. Act. Share.” Participants at the IOMX youth camp follow-up event in Belarus this week. Photo: IOM

IOM Belarus brought leading journalists together for a workshop on how to report on human trafficking in the capital Minsk this week. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Migrants Lead Fight Against TB

IOM - News - Ven, 03/23/2018 - 08:22

Geneva –Tuberculosis, or TB, continues to be the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent worldwide, according to the Global TB Report 2017. Every day, there are 28,000 new TB cases and 4,500 related deaths.

On 24 March, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and other partners will honor the many ‘Leaders for a TB-free world’ for World Tuberculosis Day.

It is estimated that public health systems miss approximately 40 per cent of the new TB cases. Social determinants of health such as poor nutrition status, poor living and working conditions, low education and awareness and low access to health care contribute to the potential of contracting TB. Therefore, missed cases often occur in the populations most vulnerable to TB: migrants, internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees and other crisis-affected communities.

IOM advocates for the inclusion of migrant populations as the fastest way to achieve the TB targets of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Global Plan to End TB 2016 – 2020. IOM’s TB programmes are implemented among migrants, crisis-affected populations and their host communities around the world. These programmes include TB prevention, early diagnosis, treatment, health service availability and sensitization against stigma and discrimination.

Governments are preparing for the high-level meeting on TB at the 2018 UN General Assembly. Joining the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Stop TB Partnership on this World TB Day, IOM recognizes the crucial role that migrants play in leading the TB response by assisting other migrant populations, refugees, IDPs and their own communities.   

“This year we honor the migrant leaders for a TB-free world. Migrants can play an important role working within camps, cities or rural areas, local communities and many other places dedicating their lives to work against TB,” said IOM Director General Ambassador William Lacy Swing. “As IOM’s campaign on this World TB Day shows, migrants serve as medical doctors, nurses and community health workers to provide treatment, information and support in their communities, and are vital to achieving a migrant-centered TB and health response.  

Many migrants are leaders in creating a future TB-free world. Abdel Karim conducts door to door awareness raising on TB in Azraq refugee camp in Jordan. He studied nursing in Syria before the conflict erupted. For the past three years, he has aided and provided information about TB to his community.

Bhumika Bhattarai is also leading the fight against TB. Coming from Nepal’s eastern region, she decided to join IOM’s TB response in Damak. Since 2015, she has been involved in TB case management, providing counseling and working with Directly Observed Treatment services (DOTS). “Being a nurse, HIV and TB counselor, I am fully focused on patient treatment and care, providing health education, treatment observation, contract tracing, recording and reporting. As TB is a treatable and curable disease I believe that I can make life better for people affected by TB and achieve good outcomes,” she said.

Read more about migrant TB leaders here.

Jacqueline Weekers, IOM Director of Migration Health stressed IOM’s commitment to fight TB. “Following the mandate given by the Moscow Declaration to End TB, IOM reaffirms its commitment to work in partnership with WHO to end the TB epidemic by 2030, specially by actively engaging people and communities affected by and at risk of TB. Many leaders are wanted from all disciplines, sectors and expertise. Today we thank and honor those migrant leaders who are making a TB-free world possible in an interconnected context with unprecedented migration and human mobility.” (Learn more)
There are many challenges, but together we can achieve a TB-free world. We can make history. End TB.

For more information please contact IOM HQ:
Alice Wimmer, Tel: +41227179251, Email: awimmer@iom.int
Jorge Galindo, Tel: +41227179205, Email: jgalindo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, March 23, 2018 - 15:15Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Receives Emergency Funding to Provide Assistance to Migrants, Refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina

IOM - News - Mar, 03/20/2018 - 10:24
Language English

Sarajevo – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, through its Migration Emergency Funding Mechanism, is supporting the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to address urgent accommodation and humanitarian needs resulting from an increased number of migrants and asylum seekers.
 
Since the end of 2017, Bosnia and Herzegovina has seen a steady increase in the number of irregular migrants entering the country at its southeast border with Montenegro, as well as from different border-crossing points with Serbia. In 2017, a total of 755 persons were apprehended while trying to enter, cross or exit the country, compared to 240 in 2016. Data from the first months of 2018 confirm the trend, with over 520 persons detected by the border police in January and February. These are new routes that are emerging as migrants stranded in the region continue to try to reach the European Union. 
 
So far in 2018, the Service for Foreigners’ Affairs has registered a total of 520 irregular migrants and asylum seekers. The total accommodation capacity of approximately 94 places in the closed immigration centre and 154 places in the asylum centre has been quickly reached, leaving asylum seekers to find alternative housing on their own or sleep rough. Local NGOs, private individuals, and mosques accommodate many.
 
This population has become increasingly visible in certain areas, including in the centre of Sarajevo, in Ilidža, just outside of Sarajevo, and to a lesser extent in border areas such as Velika Kaduša on the border with Croatia, Višegrad on the border with Serbia, and Trebinje on the border with Montenegro.
 
According to a statement by the Director of the Service for Foreigners’ Affairs over 1,000 people are expected to arrive in the coming 15 days. While the government is in the process of finding a longer-term solution for receiving migrants and asylum seekers, IOM’s emergency assistance addresses the acute accommodation needs by expanding the Asylum Centre capacities by 60 beds and up to an additional 40 beds in the Immigration Centre.

While the vast majority of registered migrants are adult men, there are also women and families with small children and babies among them. An increase in family arrivals has occurred with improved weather conditions. One local organization is currently hosting 54 people, among them young children and three pregnant women.

For more information please contact IOM Bosnia and Herzegovina:

Peter Van der Auweraert, Tel: +41798336424 pvanderauweaert@iom.int

Edita Selimbegović, Tel: +387 33 293 713, Email: eselimbegovic@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 16:09Image: Region-Country: Bosnia and HerzegovinaDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 12,983 in 2018; Deaths Reach 495

IOM - News - Mar, 03/20/2018 - 09:30

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 12,983 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first 11 weeks of 2018, with about 47 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece (30%) Spain (22%) and Cyprus (less than 1%). This compares with 21,058 at this point in 2017.

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported Monday that on Saturday a boat capsized off the island of Agathonisi from which three people were rescued while 16 bodies were retrieved by the Hellenic Coast Guard. Authorities believe at least three people remain missing. Of the 16 bodies, nine were children.
Three survivors (two women and one man) managed to reach the shore. According to the Hellenic Coast Guard eight victims were from Afghanistan, six from Iraq and two have not been unidentified. Of the children, five were from Afghanistan and four were from Iraq.
IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reported that this is the first incident recorded on the eastern Mediterranean route since 25 December 2017 – a stretch of 85 days without a fatality on this route, which in 2015 saw 850 fatalities for the year.
This is not the longest gap between fatalities, MMP’s Julia Black explained. Between the dates of 24 April and 27 July last year – some 101 days – IOM recorded no fatalities along this route. These long periods between fatalities mean that the period between 20 March 2017 through 20 March 2018 has resulted in a remarkably death-free route in the waters separating Greece from Turkey.
During the last 365 days, 79 men, women and children have died on the Eastern Mediterranean route, or less than a third the total, 285, of those lost on the Western Mediterranean route between North Africa and Spain, which had slightly fewer arrivals during that time, but was much more lethal.
By comparison, during the past 365 days, a total of 2,700 migrants have been lost on the busy Central Mediterranean route between North Africa and Italy – the route with the most arrivals. Nonetheless, MMP reports that deaths on the Eastern Mediterranean route occur at an estimated rate of one death for every 623 arrivals. That compares with one death for every 45 arrivals on the Central Mediterranean route and one for every 92 arrivals on the Western Mediterranean route.
Over the four days (14-17 March), the Hellenic Coast Guard reported three additional incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Kos and Lesvos. The Coast Guard rescued 140 migrants and transferred them to those islands. Those rescued, plus another 240 migrants arriving in Rhodes and Samos bring the total number of sea arrivals to Greek territory through 13 March to 3,948 (see chart below) – an average for the year of just over 50 persons per day. Almost 70 per day have arrived in the month of March.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo said Monday that the ship Proactiva (operated by NGO Open Arms), arrived in Pozzallo on Saturday with 216 migrants on board. Since then the vessel has been sequestered in Sicily, on prosecutors' orders.
Di Giacomo explained that the NGO has reported that a Libyan Coast Guard vessel threatened to shoot its rescue dinghies if they didn't offload the migrants rescued in international waters. The NGO refused to comply with that order. According to media reports the ship has apparently been seized because the crew members are accused of criminal association in illegal immigration. "I guess they've instituted the crime of solidarity," a lawyer representing the ship's commander said.
Statistics from Italy’s Ministry of Interior indicate that migrant flows from North Africa as winter ends this year continue to lag well behind levels recorded in each of the previous two years. So far this month fewer than 1,000 men, women and children have landed as irregular sea migrants, or less than a third of 2017’s arrivals and less than one-fifth of 2016’s.
(see chart below).

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that total arrivals by sea in 2018 have reached 2,827 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 18 March. That compares with 2,426 through all of March 2017. IOM has recorded 118 drowning deaths on this route in 2018, a rate of just over 10 per week. During all of last year, IOM reported 223 deaths of irregular migrants on the Western Mediterranean, or just over four per week.

IOM Libya’s Maysa Khalil on Monday reported that the rescues/interceptions by the Libyan Coast Guard since the beginning of 2017 now stand at 24,189, with 3,399 in the first 11 weeks of 2018 (see chart below).

Additionally, IOM Libya indicated that survivors of these operations came from 40 individual nations, with the largest number coming from Nigeria –2,566 of whose citizens have been registered as rescued from Libyan waters. 
Another 1,845 rescued were from Mali. Other countries of origin include: Central African Republic (1,595 migrants), Morocco (1,150), Senegal (1,064), Sudan (1,008), Eritrea (949), Cote d’Ivoire (860), Guinea Conakry (855), The Gambia (826), Bangladesh (695), Cameroon (564), Ghana (529), Somalia (441), Syria (256), Sierra Leone (227), Pakistan (177), Niger (141), Tunisia (81), Chad (48), Togo (30), Nepal (11), and Yemen (3) (see chart below).

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reported Monday that deaths on the three Mediterranean routes – 495 as of March 18 – remain down about 9 per cent below their total at this same time in 2017, when 544 migrants had been counted as drowned or missing in the waters between Africa, the Middle East and Italy. 
The 495 deaths on the three Mediterranean routes include, this week, 12 migrants who died in the Alborán Sea between Morocco and Spain, as reported by Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras. The Moroccan Navy also rescued 22 people in the same operation on 12 March while recovering those 12 bodies from a sinking boat. MMP also reported that on 28 February, the Algerian Coast Guard recovered the remains of man five nautical miles northeast of Plage de Bouzedjar. This was the eighth body recovered in this area in February alone.
Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 779 migrant fatalities in 2018, compared with 1,100 through 18 March last year (see chart below).
Besides these latest Mediterranean drownings, MMP reported that two migrants died and seven were injured in a car accident in Greece’s northern city of Xanthi on 17 March. MMP also reported that in Southeast Asia, one man was killed by a landmine blast on the Myanmar-Bangladesh border on 15 March, while his wife and four children were injured.
On 19 March, the bodies of two Vietnamese migrants were recovered from a beach in Taiwan’s eastern coast, while five survivors were rescued by Taiwan’s Coast Guard. One of them reportedly died when receiving medical treatment.
The MMP team also recorded one death between West Africa and Spain: on 16 March, the remains of a migrant were found near Playa de la Madera, in Lanzarote, Canary Islands.

MMP data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on missing migrants are collected, click here.
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 16:12Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM