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Micro Gardening Scheme to Help Feed Rohingya Refugees, Bangladeshi Local Communities

IOM - News - Ven, 04/06/2018 - 08:56

Cox’s Bazar – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are distributing 50,000 vegetable gardening kits to tackle malnutrition and improve the diet of people affected by the Rohingya refugee crisis in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

Almost 700,000 refugees have fled to Cox’s Bazar from Myanmar’s North Rakhine State in the past seven months. Many were already suffering from malnutrition due to poverty and discrimination in Myanmar. Now reliant on basic food rations of rice, lentils, cooking oil and spices distributed by aid agencies every two weeks, the refugees, particularly children under five years old, urgently need to diversify their diet. Local families also need access to more diverse and nutritious food.

The micro gardening initiative, which will provide seeds and tools to 50,000 families – 25,000 in the refugee camps and 25,000 in host villages in Ukhiya and Teknaf sub-districts – is part of a USD 3 million programme to promote home gardening and larger-scale production among local farmers. The initiative is funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM). Almost half of the households receiving the kits are female-headed. 

“In the coming months, we’ll be able to have leaves and vegetables regularly,” said 27-year-old Hamida, a young mother living in the Kutupalong-Balukhali mega camp with her husband and two children, who recently received a micro gardening kit. “Now we only eat them when we have money to buy them in the market. Otherwise we just eat rice and lentils or sometimes just rice with some chili and salt,” said Hamida.

“The kits mean that they (the refugees) can grow leaves and vegetables on whatever land they have around their shelters. They can also sell the extra produce,” said Mohammad Abul Kalam, Commissioner of Bangladesh's Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC) in Cox’s Bazar, who handed over the first kits in the Ukhiya sub-district complex. "This will enable people to live better," he added.

Local day labourer Rashid Ahmed, 48, agreed: “Buying leaves and vegetables regularly from the market isn’t possible. But we can have it almost every day if I grow it myself.” said Rashid, who is the only person earning money in his seven-member family. “It will bring in some money as well. I can earn at least 100 taka (USD 1.19) a week selling the extra produce,” he added.

As part of the kits, families received red amaranth, high-iron spinach, lady fingers, long yard beans and pumpkin seeds. They also got compost, a spade and a watering can. The kits include a watertight, 60-litre food storage drum to prevent mold and infestation of food stocks, which will be essential in the coming wet season. Local families received a slightly different kit, as most have bigger kitchen garden areas than the refugees. All the beneficiaries received basic training in micro gardening techniques.

“The initiative mainly focuses on providing high quality, nutritious food to improve nutrition at the household level, but also focuses on production capacity and farm-to-market strategies for farmer groups,” said Peter Agnew, FAO’s Emergency Response Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar. “We’re also introducing new technology to the communities, as it’s been successful in producing high-nutrition vegetables for the refugee population and providing some income generation for the host community.” FAO is implementing a five-year project with Bangladesh's Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE). 

“Seven months into the crisis, it’s not only the refugees, but also the host community that needs assistance,” said Manuel Pereira, IOM's Emergency Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar. “The speed of the influx of refugees put huge pressure on local agriculture and the food supply chain. There are 400,000 people among the refugees and host communities who currently need nutrition support. This initiative will improve their nutritional status. It will also contribute to mitigating an expected 50,000 metric tonne annual food deficit in Cox’s Bazar,” he added.

For more information please contact IOM Cox’s Bazar:
Fiona MacGregor, Email: fmacgregor@iom.int, Tel. +880 173 333 5221
Shirin Akhter, Email: sakhter@iom.int, Tel: +880 341 52195

Language English Posted: Friday, April 6, 2018 - 14:58Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Hamada’s micro gardening kit will improve her family’s diet. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Eastern Approaches: UN Migration Agency Turns to Tajik Diaspora for Help Preventing Disease

IOM - News - Ven, 04/06/2018 - 08:56

Moscow – Saturday, 7 April is World Health Day, and IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is using the occasion to draw attention to the health needs – and rights – of migrants.
 
“Migrants and mobile populations deserve specific attention due to linguistic, structural and economic barriers which can limit their access to health services,” noted Dr. Jaime Calderon, IOM’s Senior Regional Health Advisor for South Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia – a region which sometimes falls short of the World Health Organization’s goals of Health for All.
 
A lack of targeted inter-country strategies hinders prevention and control of tuberculosis (TB), its multi-drug resistant strains, and HIV. Traditionally, TB and HIV control programmes address national needs, which – in a context with extensive cross-border migration – limit the health coverage of migrants and mobile populations in the region.
 
“Countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia still have some gaps to fill to achieve this goal, especially with regard to communicable diseases such as TB and HIV,” added Dr. Calderon. “The goal is to ensure that everyone, everywhere can access quality health services without facing financial hardship, as set out in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.”
 
Thousands of Tajiks head to the Russian Federation every year to seek work. They are being targeted with health messages in a joint campaign run by IOM and the Governments of Tajikistan and the Russian Federation.
 
“Many migrants from Tajikistan are undocumented and quickly end up in poor working and living conditions that make them vulnerable to communicable diseases,” said Rukhshona Kurbonova, from IOM’s Migration Health Unit in Tajikistan. “Lack of language skills and cultural differences can also hamper them in their search for health services. We need to reach out and involve diaspora communities to help spread the word.”

Kurbonova was speaking on the margins of an event in Moscow last week, where Russia-based Tajiks were trained in methods of spreading information within their networks. It is the start of a large-scale information campaign on the prevention of TB and HIV in and around the Russian capital. The training was supported by the IOM Development Fund (IDF).

“Migrants have a right to healthcare. We need to ensure they are included in governments’ attempts to provide universal health coverage, as this is key to the well-being of people and nations,” Kurbonova concluded.

For more information, please contact Rukhshona Kurbonova at IOM Tajikistan, Tel: + 992 90 505 43 00, Email: rqurbonova@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, April 6, 2018 - 14:50Image: Region-Country: AfghanistanThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

Members of the Tajik diaspora in Moscow were trained in dissemination of health information messages by IOM and the two governments. © IOM

Members of the Tajik diaspora in Moscow were trained in dissemination of health information messages by IOM and the two governments. © IOM

Representatives of the Tajik Diaspora discuss migrant health issues with Tajik health authorities at a IOM training course in Moscow last week. © IOM

Recent TB awareness campaign in Tajikistan. The methodology is being replicated among the Tajik diaspora in the Russian Federation.  © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 15,289 in 2018; Deaths Reach 517

IOM - News - Ven, 04/06/2018 - 08:54

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 15,289 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first 95 days of 2018, with about 44 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece (33%) Spain (23%) and Cyprus (less than 1%).

This compares with 31,060 at this point in 2017, and with 172,089 at this point in March in 2016.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo on Thursday shared data released this week in Italy concerning the top 11 countries of origin where arriving migrants are coming from (see chart below).

According to Italy’s Ministry of Interior the leading sender country arriving via the Mediterranean’s Central route this year is Eritrea, with 1,552 – or about 25 per cent of the 6,161 men, women and children leaving North Africa by sea.  Tunisia was second on the 2018 list, with just under 1,200 arrivals, followed by Nigeria, Pakistan, Libya, Côte d’Ivoire, Sudan, Guinea and Senegal – all with between 200 and 500 arrivals. Rounding out the bottom of the list are Mali and Algeria, both with fewer than 200 arrivals through 2018’s first three months.

Comparing these data with arrivals from 2015 through 2017, IOM notices a distinct shift. The single largest sender, Nigeria, has been the origin for over 78,000 migrants since 1 January 2015, although three quarters of that total was compiled before 2017.

Similarly, the lion’s share of the totals for Senegal (22,508), Côte d’Ivoire (25,917), Sudan (24,712) and Guinea (26,074) each also predate 2017. Eritrea, this year’s leader, has sent 68,484 migrants to Italy via North Africa since 1 January 2017. But more than 60 per cent of that total arrived before 2017 (see chart below)

 

By contrast, 2017 and 2018 have seen a greater proportion of arrivals from North Africa – from Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Libya. Of some 8,000 Tunisians crossing the Mediterranean to Italy since 2015, over 6,000 have arrived since the beginning of 2017. Sudan, which averaged 500 arrivals monthly in 2017 – and nearly 800 in 2016 – has dropped this year to a monthly average under 80 new arrivals to Italy. Bangladesh – with over 22,000 arrivals through the 36 months between January 2015 and January 2018 (or over 600 per month) this year is averaging fewer than 80 per month.

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported Thursday that on Saturday (31 March) 80 migrants (all men) were returned to Libyan shores by the Libyan Coast Guard. Most of those migrants came from Sudan, Ghana, Nigeria and Morocco. The migrants were on a rubber boat trying to reach Italy after embarking from Zuwara.

IOM arrived at the disembarkation point and provided primary medical health care, protection screenings, food, water and juice. The migrants were transferred to Tajoura detention centre where IOM distributed non-food items, hygiene kits and clothes to the concerned migrants.  No emergency cases were reported and no bodies were retrieved.

IOM reports that, so far in 2018, 3,479 migrants have been returned to Libyan territory by the Libyan Coast Guard; this is a 5 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.

Petré also reported on Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) flights leaving Libya this week, including three charters and one commercial transport bringing migrants home to Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Sierra Leone and the Philippines. Over 5,340 returning migrants have completed these flights since 1 January, and over 11,500 since the scale-up phase started on 28 November 2017. At least 24,710 migrants have returned home from Libya with IOM’s assistance since 1 January 2017.

IOM Greece's Kelly Namia reported Thursday that over four days, the Hellenic Coast Guard reported at least three incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Lesvos and Chios. The Coast Guard rescued 167 migrants and transferred them to these respective islands.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Thursday that total arrivals by sea in 2018 have reached 3,460 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 5 April. This compares with 3,326 arriving last year through all of April.

 

Most recently, 19 migrants died in different incidents in the Western Mediterranean. On 1 April, Spain’s maritime rescue service rescued one person and recovered four bodies from a sinking boat during a rescue operation in the Gibraltar Strait. The sole survivor told authorities that 12 migrants had been on the boat when it capsized.

On 2 April, another body was retrieved in waters near Barbate, Cádiz: the current death toll from Sunday’s shipwreck stands at five dead and six missing. This tragedy took place only a few days after a boat carrying seven migrants capsized in the same area: according to Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras, seven men went missing on 29 March in waters between Morocco and Spain. Additionally, the remains of one migrant were found by local fishermen near Al-Hoceima, Morocco on 1 April. In the first three months of 2018, 139 migrants have died or gone missing when attempting to reach Spain.

In the Mediterranean, 517 migrants are estimated to have died, compared with 804 through this point in 2017. It is important to consider that for the past three years, IOM has reported 500 Mediterranean Sea deaths before the end of March, a trend that has been consistent even though overall deaths and arrivals data have fluctuated considerably over those same three years.

In 2016 – the deadliest year on record – IOM recorded the deaths of over 5,000 irregular migrants on the Mediterranean for the full year, and over 362,000 total arrivals. In 2017 the fatalities totals dropped to just over 3,000 with just over 170,000 total arrivals. In short: even though both fatalities and arrivals fell sharply between the two years, fatalities during both years’ initial quarters were remarkably consistent.

Indeed, it was only in 2014 – the first full year IOM recorded the daily movement of migrants on the Mediterranean – that 500 deaths did not occur within the year’s first 100 days. That year it wasn’t until mid-year – 27 June – when the Missing Migrants Project recorded its 500th fatality. For the second half of the year, over 2,500 deaths were recorded.

It is also important to note that this year’s 500+ deaths have occurred despite a steep drop in total arrivals. This is true even of Spain, which had seen a rapid rise in the volume of arrivals and deaths on its Western Mediterranean Sea route during the second half of 2017, but whose volumes during the first quarter of 2018 are virtually identical those of 2017, a year during which 224 men, women and children drowned attempting to reach Spain.

Already this year nearly 140 irregular migrants have died trying to reach Spain, or about two-thirds the 2017 total – yet with three quarters of the year remaining. The explanation for this near tripling of the route’s fatalities does not lie with a corresponding rise in volume, but with something else.

This is also the case with Italy, where about 360 deaths on the Mediterranean’s Central Route through 100 days is less than half of 2017’s total during the same period. That noted, 2018 arrivals total just slightly more than one-quarter of 2017’s – which means even though the death toll is smaller, the ratio of drownings to arrivals is actually much higher than was being recorded at this time last year.

All of this makes difficult predicting 2018’s next nine months.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 871 deaths and disappearances during migration in 2018, compared with 1,420 through 4 April in 2017 (see chart below).

Several deaths were recorded in other regions since last week’s update. In recent days, 43 migrants and refugees died in vehicle accidents in different parts of the world. In the Horn of Africa, a tragic road accident occurred in Tanzania on 29 March that took the lives of six refugees, along with one IOM team member and one Tanzanian citizen. The accident took place near Ngara town and happened during the transport of 515 Burundians undertaking voluntary return in a convoy of buses chartered by IOM.
In Thailand, a fire on a bus carrying migrants from Myanmar killed 20 people, including 18 women, on 30 March. That incident took place in Tak province in western Thailand, along the border with Myanmar. On the Turkey-Armenia border, a minibus carrying migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran crashed in Turkey’s eastern province of Igdir on 30 March, killing 17 people.
In Mexico, one man died after falling from a freight train near Escárcega in the Mexican state of Campeche. Additionally, MMP received data this week from the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner in Arizona, USA for March: the remains of eight migrants who lost their lives crossing the US/Mexico border were recovered at different locations in Pima County during last month.

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, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 Ext. 109, Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, April 6, 2018 - 14:46Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Helps Strengthen Nicaragua’s National Coalition against Trafficking in Persons

IOM - News - Ven, 04/06/2018 - 08:54

Managua – IOM, the UN Migration Agency donated technological and computer equipment to the National Coalition Against Trafficking in Persons. The material, handed over yesterday (05/04), will back the actions of prevention, investigation, and protection to victims, carried out by the government of Nicaragua.

The donated equipment was delivered to the Ministry of the Interior, which coordinates the National Coalition against Trafficking in Persons, the Public Prosecutor's Office, and the Ministry for the Family, Children and Adolescents and the National Police. A total of 25 desktop computers, 5 laptops, 3 professional cameras, 60 chairs, printers, among others, were donated, which improved the conditions and response capabilities to join the fight against human trafficking.

In addition to the delivery of technological equipment to the institutions, the project also aims to carry out actions for the development of a personal institution, to improve the protection and protection capacity of the victims, and investigate cases of human trafficking.

The Head of the Office of IOM Nicaragua, Paola Zepeda, explained that the proposed actions are carried out at the central level, and then replicated at the local level, in the areas of greatest vulnerability to human trafficking.

"It is essential to strengthen protection networks at the local level in areas where there is a greater risk of a person being a victim of trafficking and smuggling of migrants, especially taking into account the emigration of Nicaraguans to other countries," said Zepeda.

“Combating trafficking in persons is a priority for the Government of Nicaragua. We cannot be isolated from this type of criminal manifestations to which we are all committed to fight and not allow to settle in our territory," said Luis Cañas, Deputy Minister of the Interior. "Through these trainings, each institution of the National Coalition, according to its role, will do whatever necessary to be attentive to any manifestation of the crime of trafficking in persons."

The donation is part of a project financed by the IOM Development Fund, which seeks to contribute to the strengthening of the National Coalition Against Trafficking in Persons in Nicaragua. The activities of this project strengthen the capacities of specialized institutions for the provision of comprehensive services for the care and protection of victims, as well as for the investigation of cases and punishment of traffickers.

For more information, please contact Anabell Cruz Zavala at IOM Nicaragua, Tel: +505 22789569, Email amcruz@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, April 6, 2018 - 14:44Image: Region-Country: NicaraguaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

The equipment delivered by IOM will improve the conditions and response capabilities for the fight against human trafficking in Nicaragua. Photo: © Anabell Cruz / IOM

“We are all committed to fight and not allow (this crime) to settle in our territory" said Luis Cañas, Nicaraguan Deputy Minister of the Interior (Center). Photo: © Anabell Cruz / IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

A Critical Year for Unity in Defining Migration Policy Globally

IOM - News - Mer, 04/04/2018 - 03:13

Brussels – Senior officials from the European Union (EU) and IOM, the UN Migration Agency, are meeting in Brussels today (04/04) to strengthen cooperation on some of the most pressing European, neighbourhood and global migration issues, including better protection of vulnerable migrants, the challenge of managing mixed migration flows, and the Global Compact on Migration.   

Ahead of the meeting, IOM Director General William Lacy Swing welcomed the continued strategic dialogue between IOM and the EU, particularly at a time when migration challenges and opportunities lead the political debate and are a fixture on global and European agendas. 

“This is an absolutely critical year for unity in defining migration policy globally. The issues at stake touch all of us, from vast regions, large and small countries, to the most vulnerable of migrants,” said Ambassador Swing. 

“We have a historic opportunity to build a system for human mobility where people can move safely, legally and voluntarily, in full respect of their human rights.  We particularly need to make headway in addressing the movement of the most vulnerable migrants with specific protection needs,” he added.

This year’s meeting – the fifth of its kind since the launch of the EU-IOM Strategic Cooperation Framework in 2012 – is being hosted by Christian Danielsson, Director General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement at the European Commission (DG NEAR). 

IOM Director General Swing and Deputy Director General Laura Thompson are taking part in the high-level dialogue together with other senior officials from the European Commission (DG DEVCO, DG ECHO, DG HOME and DG NEAR), and the European External Action Service (EEAS). 

The EU-IOM meeting takes place in the lead up to the landmark adoption of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in December.  Ambassador Swing underlined that the EU and its Member States have the expertise and experience to take a leading role in the negotiations for the Global Compact for Migration.

“We are optimistic that with EU leadership, we will reach an agreement that provides a unifying framework of common principles, commitments and understanding among Member States on all aspects of migration,” said Ambassador Swing. 

“We would like to see this grounded in existing international norms, focus on practical implementation, and include mechanisms for follow-up and review,” he added. 

Meeting participants will also discuss ongoing cooperation on forced displacement and development, and on return and reintegration. 

Background on the EU-IOM Strategic Cooperation Framework

The EU-IOM Strategic Cooperation Framework was established in July 2012 to enhance collaboration on migration, development, humanitarian response and human rights issues with three European Commission services (DG DEVCO, DG ECHO, DG HOME) and the European External Action Service (EEAS).  DG NEAR formally joined the Framework in February 2016.

The Cooperation Framework builds on a shared interest in bringing the benefits of well managed international migration to migrants and society. It also serves as a basis for the exchanges, development and structuring of the relationship between the EU and IOM.

Senior Officials Meetings are held to foster dialogue and cooperation at the highest level on key policy issues, best practices, as well as legislative and operational initiatives covering all aspects of migration, mobility and displacement.

In addition to the yearly Senior Officials Meeting, regular meetings are held between the EU and IOM among Heads of Unit/Division and technical experts.

Since the start of the cooperation, 15 meetings have taken place at all levels, involving over 300 EU and IOM staff.

For further information please contact Ryan Schroeder at IOM’s Regional Office for the EU, Tel: +32 2 287 71 16, Email: rschroeder@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 09:03Image: Region-Country: BelgiumThemes: Global Compact on MigrationInternational and Regional CooperationDefault: Multimedia: 

EU and IOM senior officials meet to discuss cooperation on global migration issues. © IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Calling All Filmmakers! UN Migration Agency Launches Call for Submissions to 2018 Global Migration Film Festival

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

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, begins casting a wide net this week to bring forth the talent behind one of the migration world’s enduring art forms: motion pictures. It’s all part of the UN Together campaign to promote diversity worldwide.

To select a compelling roster of films to be screened at IOM’s December 2018 Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF), the Geneva-based body is calling for submissions of Full-Length Feature and Short Films, in all genres: fiction, documentary, animation, etc.

Submissions will be accepted starting today (3 April) through 21 June. To merit consideration each submission must address the challenges and promises of migration as well as the many and unique contributions migrants make to their new communities. Both established and emerging filmmakers are invited to participate.

Before submitting, we encourage filmmakers to post a short video or pitch to the brand new TOGETHER app which you can find in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Using the app, you can communicate with other filmmakers and collaborate on projects around the world.

A committee of international professionals will determine the Official Selection across two categories as follows:

  • Full-length features: filmmakers working in all genres are invited to submit films that address festival themes, with a total running time exceeding 41 minutes.
  • Short Films: filmmakers working in all genres are invited to submit films that address festival themes, with a total running time of up to 40 minutes. 

Only films submitted through the festival’s designated platform, FilmFreeway, will be considered. 

Over the years, films have informed, entertained, educated and provoked debate. It is in this spirit that IOM launched The Global Migration Film Festival in 2016. Last year the Festival was present in 100 countries; an Official Selection of 39 films led to 345 screenings in 100 countries around the world, drawing a global audience of over 27,000 people.

“The journeys migrants take, sometimes full of peril, often full of hope, have been the subject of films throughout the history of cinema,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing. “We hope the films at our next festival will instill understanding, empathy with characters, awe at their journeys and admiration for those who welcome their new neighbors.” 

All selected films are also eligible to win awards, including the Innovation Award for films made solely with mobile phones.

Amina Rwimo, a refugee filmmaker living at Kakuma Refugee Camp, won an Emerging Filmmakers award in 2017.  "This award will be a stepping stone towards many more opportunities," she said.

Post-screening debates and panels are encouraged, and GMFF organizers in each participating country may organize their own side events, prize giveaways and more. Click here to access to the official Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) portal.

For more information, please contact Amanda Nero at IOM HQ at Tel: +41 227 179 482, Email: anero@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 17:06Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: 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