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Seoul Conference Highlights Working Conditions of Migrant Fishermen on Korean Fishing Boats

IOM - News - Ven, 09/08/2017 - 11:21

Seoul – The Republic of Korea (ROK) is the world’s 12th largest fishing nation. In 2015, its fishery and aquaculture production, at 1.64 million tons, was worth USD 4.4 billion. But while the industry continues to grow, the number of Korean fishermen has decreased due to difficult working conditions and low pay.

In the early 1990s, the industry started to employ migrant workers, mainly from Viet Nam, Indonesia and the Philippines. By 2015 they accounted for 40 per cent of the industry’s total workforce. Reports of human rights abuses in the industry triggered a two-year investigation between 2014 – 2016 by IOM ROK and Advocates for Public Interest Law (APIL).

The IOM / APIL team conducted research in the ROK and the countries of origin and uncovered various human rights violations detailed in their report: Tied at Sea: Human Rights Violations of Migrant Workers on Korean Fishing Vessels (http://bit.ly/2vGajSE).

This week (5/9) three members of the Korean National Assembly co-hosted a conference in Seoul organized by IOM ROK, APIL and the Human Rights Network for Migrant Fishermen to discuss the report’s recommendations.

The conference on Working Conditions of Migrant Fishermen on Korean Fishing Vessels attracted 110 delegates including government officials from relevant ministries, representatives of fisheries associations, labour unions, civil society organizations, the private sector, media and the general public.

The report recommended that officials from the Ministries of Oceans and Fisheries, Employment and Labour, Justice, and National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives, should improve coordination and work together to ensure an ethical recruitment process to improve working conditions for migrant fishermen.

“Despite existing national efforts in building measures to protect migrant workers, migrant fishermen on Korean-flagged fishing vessels are especially vulnerable to labour exploitation as their working conditions often fall outside the scope of the Labour Standards Act,” said IOM ROK Head of Office Miah Park.

“This event raised public awareness of the situation of migrant seafarers and hopefully encouraged policymakers to take action to improve it. IOM plans to continue to support responsible stakeholders in establishing fair and ethical recruitment practices in Korean fishing industry,” she added.

The conference followed an earlier Regional Conference on Ethical Recruitment of Migrant Fishermen Working in Fishing Industry organized by IOM ROK in 2016, which brought together government officials from Indonesia, Viet Nam, the Philippines and South Korea to discuss policy gaps and gather recommendations.

For more information, please contact IOM ROK. Jumi Kim, Tel: +82 70 4820 0292, Email: jukim@iom.int or Doyen Yun, Tel: +82 70 4820 2324, Email: dyun@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 8, 2017 - 17:12Image: Region-Country: Republic of KoreaThemes: Migrants RightsMigration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 

Indonesian seamen aboard a Korean-flagged fishing vessel. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) / APIL

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

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

IOM - News - Ven, 09/08/2017 - 11:20

Conakry – IOM, the UN Migration Agency this week (05/09) assisted 132 Guinean migrants to return home from Libya. The migrants, including 10 women, 1 infant, 2 children and 1 unaccompanied child, had requested assistance from IOM to return voluntarily to Guinea after living in Libya as irregular migrants in often daunting circumstances.

IOM Libya and the Embassy of Guinea in Tripoli assisted the migrants in obtaining the required travel documents for the voluntary assisted humanitarian return. Before the charter flight flew out of Mitiga airport in Tripoli, the IOM team in Libya conducted pre-departure interviews, medical examinations and facilitated the issuance of exit visas for all passengers. Migrants also received additional assistance in the form of clothing, footwear and other essentials.

The group also included two patients who received medical assistance from the Red Cross upon arrival at Conakry prior to being handed over to the Ministry of Social Affairs who transferred them by ambulance to a special unit prepared for returning migrants at the John Paul II clinic.

The migrants were met at Conakry-Gbessia Airport by teams from IOM Guinea, SENAH (National Service for Humanitarian Actions), the Red Cross, representatives of the Ministry in charge of Guineans Living Abroad and the Ministry of Social Affairs. They were accommodated by IOM Guinea, which gave each migrant a kit containing toiletries and food. The migrants were then registered and profiled. The data from this exercise is expected to provide IOM with deeper insight into the profile of irregular migrants, why they left their country, their migratory pathway and living conditions in Libya.

The more vulnerable in the group were provided with immediate psycho-social support by IOM, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Red Cross. Where needed, additional assistance will be provided to address their immediate needs.

IOM also provided each migrant EUR 50 for their transportation to their final destinations. Those from Conakry went home directly, while others from the various regions of the country were hosted for one night by SENAH at the Matam Transit Center from where they will travel to their final destinations.

The migrants will be provided with access to reintegration support within three months of their return. This support is part of the project, Enhancement of Migration Governance and Support for the Sustainable Reintegration of Migrants in the Republic of Guinea funded by the European Union Trust Fund.

Some of the returning migrants spoke to IOM staff.

Habib*, a carpenter, said he had worked for more than three years in Tripoli. Everything was going well for him when in 2016, he asked his wife Mariam* to join him. After the birth of their baby, they decided to go home as business was becoming very difficult for him.

Djibril*, who had worked as an accountant in Guinea, lost his job in 2014 when the country was affected by the Ebola virus epidemic. He then chose to go to Europe with his younger brother. They were arrested and imprisoned soon after their arrival in Libya. Although relieved to be back home, Djibril is distressed that his brother is still detained in Libya. He showed IOM staff a wound in his shoulder, which he says was inflicted by caused by a guard with a knife, testifying of the much-documented difficult conditions in Libyan detention centers.

This week’s flight from Libya was the seventh since January 2017 organized by IOM for Guinean migrants from Libya with a total of 859 migrants assisted so far. This adds to other Guinean returnees from Benin, Cameroon, Egypt, Morocco and Niger who decided to return home.

Between 1 January and 28 August 2017, IOM Libya helped repatriate 6,946 stranded migrants (18 per cent of them women) back to their countries of origin. Three-quarters of this population were held in detention centers and 3,473 were eligible for reintegration assistance.

Launched in April 2017, Enhancement of Migration Governance and Support for the Sustainable Reintegration of Migrants in the Republic of Guinea is a joint initiative between the European Union Trust Fund and IOM which is being implemented over a three-year period and covers six administrative regions of Guinea, namely: Conakry, Boké, Mamou, Labé, Kankan and N’Zérékoré.

“Under the project, IOM Guinea supports returning migrants, depending on their profiles and needs, by facilitating the creation of a small business, involving them in a collective and/or community business initiative, or providing them with vocational training.

*The names of the migrants have been changed to protect their privacy.

For more information, contact: Lucas Chandellier at IOM Guinea, Tel: +224 628 33 86 53, E-mail: lchandellier@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 8, 2017 - 17:13Image: Region-Country: Guinea-BissauThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

This week’s flight from Libya was the seventh since January 2017 organized by IOM for Guinean migrants from Libya with a total of 859 migrants assisted so far.  Above is a photo of Guinean migrants assisted by IOM last August. File photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

270,000 Flee Myanmar in Two Weeks: UN Migration Agency in Bangladesh Scales Up Emergency Response

IOM - News - Ven, 09/08/2017 - 11:19

Bangladesh - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, today (8/9) confirmed that 270,000 people have fled violence in Myanmar to seek safety in Bangladesh since 25 August.

IOM, which yesterday allocated USD 1 million from its emergency funds to boost the humanitarian response in Cox’s Bazar, is working with the government and partners to scale up its delivery of lifesaving aid to those most in need. Immediate priorities have been identified as shelter, drinking water, food and medical assistance.

The UN Central Emergency Response Fund yesterday also announced a further USD 7 million to help the thousands of destitute people who continue to flood into Bangladesh.   

“I came here three days back along with my husband and four children. It took us six days to walk here, and we had very little to eat. I couldn’t bring anything with me. Even the clothes we had with us, we lost on the way. We now desperately need food and shelter. We need materials to cook with and a place to wash. We haven’t been able to get anything yet, except this meal today,” said Najuma Begum, speaking to IOM staff collecting needs data at a food distribution centre near the Kutupalong makeshift settlement.

While Najuma’s family managed to get a ready cooked meal at the food distribution centre, many people have now set up camp in areas which are too far from established support centres to receive help. Most families are living in the open, in the rain, with children and the elderly at particularly high risk of getting sick.

The number of new arrivals has increased considerably in part due to the joint needs assessment carried out on 6 September, when inter-agency teams visited more host community locations. Arrivals identified in previously unvisited host community settings tally 75,000 in 9 locations visited. At the same time, arrival numbers in the previously known makeshift locations also continue to increase, and over 10,000 are staying in Teknaf Municipality area.

An estimated 130,000 of the new arrivals are now living in the registered refugee camps and three makeshift settlements of Kutupalong, Leda and Balukhali. Another estimated 90,000 people are sheltering in host communities, and nearly 50,000 have settled in new spontaneous settlements which are expanding quickly with people still searching for space to make temporary shelters.
Safety has been a major concern for the new arrivals, especially girls. “I’ve two young daughters with me and I fear for their safety. We have no latrines and we’re scared at night to go out into the fields (to defecate). We go in groups if we have to,” said Ajumar Begum, who is sheltering near the Balukhali makeshift settlement.  

Healthcare facilities are also struggling to provide adequate services as the number of people in need of emergency and basic health care continue to grow. Seven mobile health teams have been deployed to the spontaneous settlement areas, and IOM and partners are recruiting more doctors, nurses and midwives to increase the reach of the teams. People are too scared and exhausted to travel long distances to seek health care, so it is imperative that it as close to the settlements as possible.

There are also a number of pregnant and lactating women among the new arrivals.
Eight months pregnant Halima Khanam in Balukhali is expecting her first child. “I have been here three days with my mother and younger brother. I’m scared. I don’t know where my husband is. We are depending on the family we’re living with here. I don’t know how long we can survive,” she told an IOM staffer.
According to the Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) in Cox’s Bazar, which is convened by IOM, the number of new arrivals continues to increase (http://cxbcoordination.org).

On Wednesday (6/9) there was a sharp increase in arrivals as at least 300 boats arrived in Cox’s Bazar from Myanmar. Sea routes are particularly dangerous at this time of year, when boats are known to frequently capsize in rough seas.

New arrivals usually start by looking for space in the established makeshift settlements, where there are some services. But these are already full to capacity in terms of space. As a result, three new spontaneous settlements have sprung up in areas which still have very little by way of services.

“Humanitarian agencies are deploying mobile medical teams, installing emergency latrines, providing water, and are distributing tarpaulins for basic shelter and food rations to new arrivals. But much more is needed and we are fast running out of stock,” said ISCG coordinator Margo Baars.

To date, IOM has distributed 6,957 plastic tarpaulins (with 3,479 kgs of ropes), 300 sleeping mats, and 600 non-food item kits containing essentials such as cooking sets, clothes, bedding and mosquito nets, to the new arrivals.

Before the latest influx, IOM Bangladesh was coordinating humanitarian assistance to some 200,000 Undocumented Myanmar Nationals living in makeshift settlements in Cox’s Bazar.

Lifesaving services delivered by IOM and its partner agencies include clean water and sanitation, shelter, food security, health care, education, and psychosocial support for the most vulnerable individuals, many of whom are suffering from acute mental trauma or are survivors of sexual violence.

Most of the people now crossing the border are women, children and the elderly, many of whom are vulnerable and lack the ability to take care of themselves.

For more information, please contact Peppi Siddiq at IOM Bangladesh. Email: pksiddiq@iom.int, Tel. +8801755568894.

Language English Posted: Friday, September 8, 2017 - 17:14Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM is distributing basic essentials including cooking sets, bedding and mosquito nets to new arrivals. Photo: Md. Asadur Rahman / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Many of the new arrivals are injured and in need of medical help. Photo: Md. Asadur Rahman / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Launches New Missing Migrants Website

IOM - News - Gio, 09/07/2017 - 05:50

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency has launched its new Missing Migrants Project website: https://missingmigrants.iom.int/. The Missing Migrants Project tracks migrants, including refugees and asylum-seekers, who have died or gone missing while migrating to an international destination.

The site has been redesigned to be more user-friendly. New functions include:

Interactive graphics

New informative graphs, maps, and charts are featured to make understanding Missing Migrants Project data even easier. Users can view individual data points by zooming in on the maps at the top of each page, and can filter the charts by month, year and region by clicking on each graphic.

Regional pages

In addition to the page highlighting migrant fatalities data in the Mediterranean, the new website features graphics on different regions and hotspots across the world, including the Mediterranean and Middle East. Users can explore trends in Missing Migrants Project data on Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas by selecting an option from the drop-down menu titled ‘Regions,’ or by selecting a region at the bottom of the home page.

Easy-access data

Missing Migrants Project’s full dataset is now available for download as either an Excel or .CSV file. The dataset contains information on each incident in which a migrant death was recorded, and includes data on the circumstances of the death as well as the profile of the migrants involved, where available.


Not interested in data and graphs? In-depth analysis of Missing Migrants Project data and other topics relating to migrant fatalities can be found on the new publications page.

For more information, please contact Julia Black, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: missingmigrants@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 11:49Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Signs Agreement with Korean Province to Support Integration and Inclusion

IOM - News - Mer, 09/06/2017 - 05:44

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency yesterday (05/09) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chungcheongnam-do Provincial Government of the Republic of Korea (CPG). The agreement was signed by IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson and An Heejung, Governor of CPG, and aims to enhance knowledge sharing on integration and inclusion of migrants in the province.

DDG Thompson welcomed the Korean delegation at IOM Headquarters in Geneva. In her initial remarks, she mentioned that IOM has experienced substantial growth over the last 20 years, increasing the list of Member States from 65 to 166. She further highlighted IOM’s engagement with local authorities around the world, as illustrated by the Conference on Migrants and Cities held in 2015.

"If national governments are interested in integration, local authorities are even more so because they are often the ones dealing with migrants directly," said Thompson.

Chungcheongnam-do, located 150 kilometres south of Seoul, has a total population of 2.1 million, of which 90,000 are migrants. Governor Heejung commended IOM for its expansion, which he recognized as a key factor for the safety and sustainable migration of people. He mentioned that most migrants in Chungcheongnam-do come for marriage, work and study opportunities. He mentioned that the main challenges in his province relate to three areas: migrants’ safety, access to education, and the creation of enabling environments for migrant workers.

“We want to learn about the positive experiences and programmes from other countries who have worked with IOM. We made the right decision to sign this partnership, and I hope it will lead to the implementation of projects,” said Heejung.

In this respect, DDG Thompson stressed that access to education is one of the main obstacles to integration, and that the provision of free language courses for migrants is essential for guaranteeing their access to services. She complimented the Governor for being able to tailor education programmes in the province according to the needs of migrants.

“Integration is one of the major challenges of migration, and it is a two-way process that requires societies’ openness to newcomers. It is an effort from both sides,” added Thompson. She cautioned, however, that integration projects are not universally applicable, and that they should focus on the specific contexts in which they are implemented.

“In general, there needs to be systems that allow the participation of migrants in decision-making processes, so that they feel that their opinions matter,” she added.

With the cooperation agreement entering into force on the day of its signing, DDG Thompson said "We hope that this is the beginning of a long-term relationship, not only in your governorate but also expanding to the entire Republic of Korea."

She concluded by calling attention to the 2030 Agenda and the Global Compact for Migration (GCM), two recent developments that have helped to recognize migration as an integral component to sustainable development.

For more information, please contact Jorge Galindo at IOM HQ, Tel: +417179205, Email: jgalindo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - 11:32Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 

DDG Laura Thompson and the Governor of Chungcheongnam-do signed the MoU at IOM headquarters. Photo: Muse Mohammed/UN Migration Agency 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency, Polaris to Launch Global Data Repository on Human Trafficking

IOM - News - Mer, 09/06/2017 - 05:35

Vienna – Counter-trafficking specialists yesterday (05/09) announced the pre-launch of the Counter-Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC) at the 5th Global Compact for Migration (GCM) consultations in Vienna. The CTDC is the result of a joint initiative led by IOM, the UN Migration Agency and Polaris, an independent organization combatting modern slavery. Its online portal will consist of a global repository of data on human trafficking that protects the identities of victims, and uses a new international standard.

The announcement took place at a parallel event during the GCM consultations. At the pre-launch, IOM stressed the important role of the CTDC to fill the gap in terms of publicly-available data on human trafficking. Harry Cook, IOM Data Management and Research Specialist stressed that the lack of data on human trafficking and the hurdles to collect it in a harmonized manner are two main problems for the counter-trafficking movement.

The CTDC will be the first global repository of its kind and will host primary data from counter-trafficking organizations around the world, helping deepen the understanding of vulnerability-producing contexts that migrants encounter during their migration process.

“We all want counter trafficking efforts to be as effective and efficient as possible, and in order to do that, they need to be based on real information about the problem,” said Sara Crowe, Polaris’ Associate Director in charge of data systems.

The CTDC will combine datasets including over 45,000 victim records from IOM and more than 31,000 cases of human trafficking from Polaris. Global data from other organizations is expected to enrich the current repository, which will facilitate an unparalleled level of cross border, trans-agency analysis and provide the counter-trafficking movement with a comprehensive understanding of the issue.

“We must examine how to harness the data revolution and modern technology in the fight against human trafficking. Modern technology is allowing us to make data accessible to external stakeholders through sophisticated anonymization, data protection, and data sharing techniques,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.

Following the pre-launch event, the CTDC teams will focus on increasing promotion and awareness of the CTDC as a resource for relevant academics and actors within the counter-trafficking community.

Combatting trafficking in persons, as well as smuggling of migrants and contemporary forms of slavery play a pivotal role in the consultations leading up to the GCM negotiations in 2018.

The GCM thematic consultations in Vienna (4-5/09) focused on smuggling of migrants, trafficking in persons and contemporary forms of slavery, including appropriate identification, protection and assistance to migrants and trafficking victims.

The next and final thematic session to be held in Geneva on 12-13 October, will address irregular migration and regular pathways, including decent work, labor mobility, recognition of skills and qualifications, and other relevant measures.

For more information please contact Jorge Galindo at IOM HQ, Tel: +417179205, Email: jgalindo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - 11:31Image: Region-Country: AustriaDefault: Multimedia: 

The data collaborative will aim to build the evidence base on trafficking in persons without disclosing the identity of the victims. Photo: UN Migration Agency/Polaris 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Global Compact for Migration "Our Rendezvous with History," says UN Migration Director General at Vienna Discussions

IOM - News - Mar, 09/05/2017 - 17:44

“This is our rendezvous with history,” said IOM, UN Migration Agency’s Director General William Lacy Swing during an address to UN Member States today (05/09).

Referring to the intergovernmental process to adopt a global compact for migration, Director General Swing stated that “we have been building up to this moment for three decades and we must not miss this opportunity.”

Director General Swing was speaking at the fifth thematic session of the global compact discussions, which focused on combating migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons. He called on States to implement the commitments made through several declarations and dialogues, as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustain Development.

“There is no lack of political will or legal protection for migrants,” said Director General Swing. “The gap is in implementation.”

Legal protection must be underpinned by “a fundamental shift in public perception of migrants and migration,” said Director General Swing, “putting respect for the human rights of migrants at the core of all our action.”

He encouraged States and the public to work together to expand migration channels and fight trafficking, with a greater focus on social justice issues.

“Xenophobia and hate speech put migrants at risk and deprive them of their rights and their dignity,” he noted.

“I have personally witnessed the appalling plight of thousands of migrants languishing in detention centers across the world,” Director General Swing continued. “More needs to be done to open regular and safe migration routes and to prevent migrants from falling into the hands of smugglers who will violate their human rights.”

In September 2016 the UN General Assembly adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, through, which its Member States committed themselves to developing a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.

The development of the global compact for migration presents the international community with a watershed opportunity to make a crucial contribution to global migration governance.  It is expected to provide a unifying framework of common principles, commitments and understandings amongst Member States on all aspects of international migration, including the humanitarian, development and human rights-related dimensions.  

It encompasses protecting the rights of migrants, facilitating safe, orderly and regular migration, reducing the incidence and impacts of forced and irregular migration; and addressing mobility consequences of natural and human-induced disasters.

It is being developed through an open, transparent and inclusive process of consultations and negotiations and the effective participation of civil society, the private sector, academic institutions, parliaments, diaspora communities, and migrant organizations.

IOM is extending technical and policy expertise to the global compact process as requested by Member States until its culmination in September 2018.

For more information please contact:

In Vienna: Joe Lowry, Tel +43660 3776404, Email jlowry@iom.int

In Geneva: Olivia Headon, Tel: +41227179435, Email: oheadon@iom.int

In New York: Lanna Walsh, Tel +1929 9201127, Email lwalsh@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 23:42Image: Region-Country: AustriaThemes: Global Compact on MigrationHuman SmugglingDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM, Partners Seek USD 18 Million for Immediate Relief as Over 123,000 Rohingya Enter Bangladesh in Last 11 Days

IOM - News - Mar, 09/05/2017 - 10:33

Dhaka – IOM, the UN Migration Agency in Bangladesh today said that humanitarian assistance in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh must be urgently scaled up as tens of thousands of newly arrived Undocumented Myanmar Nationals (UMNs) continue to stream into the district’s makeshift settlements in search of help.

IOM and partner agencies operating in the district, which borders Myanmar, have identified an immediate funding gap of USD 18 million over the next three months to allow lifesaving services to be scaled up to cope with the new arrivals. This appeal will be followed by a more comprehensive needs assessment and response plan.

Today (06/09), the IOM convened Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) (https://cxbcoordination.org) of humanitarian agencies working in Cox’s Bazar announced that an estimated 123,600 people have crossed into Bangladesh from Myanmar since the latest outbreak of violence on 25 August. (ISCG estimates are based on observations compiled by ISCG agencies and may be inaccurate. There is no formal registration of the new arrivals.)

Thousands of people are still arriving daily, looking for space to settle down in, and there are clear signs that more will cross before the situation stabilizes.

Prior to the latest influx, IOM Bangladesh was coordinating humanitarian assistance to some 200,000 UMNs living in makeshift settlements in Cox’s Bazar.

Lifesaving services delivered by IOM and its partner agencies include clean water and sanitation, shelter, food security, health care, education, and psychosocial support for the most vulnerable individuals, many whom are suffering from acute mental trauma or are survivors of sexual violence.

“The new arrivals are putting immense strain on the existing support structures. These need to be immediately scaled up to ensure lives are not put at risk,” said Sarat Dash, IOM Bangladesh Chief of Mission.

“We are running out of space in the existing settlements and new arrivals are pitching camp wherever they can erect some plastic sheeting to protect themselves from the elements. They have very limited understanding of the available services. We need to urgently look at their shelter needs and make sure people have safe spaces in which to stay,” he added.

Most of the people crossing the border are women, children and the elderly, many of whom are vulnerable and lack the ability to take care of themselves.

Bangladesh already hosts an estimated 400,000 UMNs, most of whom are living in the greater Chittagong area, which is extremely vulnerable to external shocks, including cyclones. 

For more information, please contact Peppi Siddiq at IOM Bangladesh. Email: pksiddiq@iom.int, Tel. +8801755568894  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 16:03Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Members of the Rohingya community crossing the border into Bangladesh. Photo:  Azam Sheikh Ali Haider / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Members of the Rohingya community crossing the border into Bangladesh. Photo:  Azam Sheikh Ali Haider / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Members of the Rohingya community crossing the border into Bangladesh. Photo:  Azam Sheikh Ali Haider / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Reinforces Commitment to Displaced People through Enhanced Framework on Internal Displacement

IOM - News - Mar, 09/05/2017 - 10:31

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency has launched an enhanced framework for addressing internal displacement, a challenge which has risen to unprecedented levels. Over 40 million people are currently displaced by conflict within the borders of their own country – this represents 62 per cent of the total number of people displaced globally. In addition, disasters displace an average of 26 million people every year.

Given the increased frequency, intensity and duration of contemporary conflicts, lack of political solutions to resolve the drivers of displacement, and the rising risks associated with environmental degradation, climate change and other sudden-impact or slow-onset disasters, addressing internal displacement must be a global priority.

“There are few personal tragedies worse than having to flee for your life. The hardship only deepens when there are no solutions in sight,” said William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General, from the Organization’s Headquarters. “Addressing internal displacement is a global humanitarian imperative. Internally displaced people are among the world’s most vulnerable; facing poverty, loss of education, unemployment, marginalization and insecurity, to name only a few. At the same time, I have witnessed the courage, tenacity and resilience of these people – and the generosity of host communities – under some of the harshest conditions imaginable.”

The enhanced framework responds to changes in and the expansion of IOM’s policies and operations over the years. In 2016, IOM’s operations reached more than 19 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and provided over 6 million host community members with support across 31 countries. This makes IOM one of the largest actors on internal displacement issues globally. The Framework lays out IOM’s strategic role in the current global humanitarian and development landscape.

“This category of ‘displaced persons’ are not just a statistic. They represent a formidable source of untapped positive potential and agency, and this framework fully recognizes that. It makes good economic sense, and is socially advantageous, to empower people to develop their own responses and solutions to displacement. It is equally essential to foster economic growth and opportunities in host communities,” Ambassador Swing said.

He concluded, “Ultimately, though, we will not be able to adequately resolve the global crisis of internal displacement until durable solutions are found, and States and communities are united in sharing responsibility in responding to displacement, in preventing and reducing the risks of crises, and in resolving conflicts as urgently as possible.”

The principles of engagement, commitments, approach and operational objectives contained in the Framework set the foundation and direction for all aspects of IOM’s work on internal displacement. The goal of the Framework is to support operational effectiveness across the Organization in the identification and implementation of responses to internal displacement and as part of its coordinated partnerships.

The people-centred framework is guided by the fact that States have a primary responsibility for internally displaced persons. It is grounded in prevailing principles, policies and practices relating to internal displacement like the Guiding Principles for Internal Displacement. The Framework also reinforces IOM’s commitment to protecting the dignity and well-being of all people on the move, a cost-effective operation model and transparency.

The framework can be downloaded here.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM HQ in Geneva, Tel: +41 79 403 5365, Email: oheadon@iom.int


Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 16:02Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Children carrying IOM shelter kits following floods in Kayin State, Myanmar, File photo: IOM 2015

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Less than 5,000 Mediterranean Arrivals in Past Week

IOM - News - Mar, 09/05/2017 - 10:27

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency reports that 125,860 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 3 September. This compares with 289,681 arrivals across the region through 3 September 2016.

IOM’s Missing Migrant Project (MMP) recorded the first fatalities in the Mediterranean since 9 August: the Tunisian Red Cross reports that up to 120 people are feared to have drowned after a boat capsized last Wednesday (30/09) off the coast of Ben Guerdane, Tunisia. Only one Nigerien migrant survived the shipwreck.

Additionally, on Thursday last week, a ship carrying 45 migrants sank off the coast of Melilla, Spain. Seven women lost their lives in this incident, five of whom were reportedly from the Congo, while the other two were Guinean nationals. These deaths bring the total of fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2017 to 2,537. 

Worldwide, IOM’s MMP reports that there have been 3,649 fatalities in 2017 through 3 September (see chart below). MMP recorded one dead and one missing after one small boat carrying migrants trying to cross from Costa Rica to Nicaragua capsized on Friday night; and one train accident in Querétaro, Mexico.

Meanwhile, yesterday (04/09), the NGO Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) announced it was suspending its rescue operations in the Mediterranean and relocating its ship, the Phoenix, to South East Asia to rescue Rohingya refugees.
Latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/170905_Mediterranean_Update.pdf

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe

Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For more information, please contact:
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 16:01Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Chile Hosts Regional Consultation for Latin America and Caribbean on Global Compact for Migration

IOM - News - Mar, 09/05/2017 - 10:18

Santiago – The Regional Consultation for Latin America and the Caribbean towards the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) took place last week (30-31/08) in Santiago, Chile. The event was co-hosted by the United Nations (UN) Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and IOM, the UN Migration Agency.

The two-day consultation was the first of five regional consultations, which are part of the preparatory discussions to develop the GCM, an intergovernmental negotiation on all dimensions of international migration. As with previous consultations, the regional gathering in Santiago sought to discuss migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner.

The event brought together 45 international migration experts from Latin America and the Caribbean countries to discuss relevant migration topics in the region to provide inputs to governments for the negotiation phase of the GCM.

It also gathered representatives from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

During her opening remarks, IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson said that the Global Compact represents an invaluable opportunity for the international community to work on a common vision to ensure a well-managed migration governance, as well as to promote the positive effects that benefit migrants, governments and societies.

“The common vision includes protecting the human rights of migrants, facilitating a safe, regular and orderly migration, reducing the incidence of forced migration, and responding to the impacts of mobility caused by natural disasters or environmental reasons,” stressed Ambassador Thompson

Ambassador Thompson also underlined that Latin American and Caribbean countries have already contributed to the global debate on migration, ensuring the inclusion of the human rights of migrants in all the regional migration fora. The countries have also significantly contributed to the global migration governance through the adoption of new migration laws and policies.

“Notable practices include the Residence Agreement of the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR), the free transit instruments created by the Community of Andean Nations (CAN) and, more recently, some agreements on free mobility adopted by the Pacific Alliance,” she said.

Ambassador Thompson also highlighted the important role of the two existing Regional Consultative Processes (RCPs) in the region: The South American Conference on Migration (SACM) and the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM – Puebla Process).  

Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the ECLAC, highlighted the importance of the regional consultation for Latin America and the Caribbean to provide a consensus view of migration governance, based on the principles of human rights of migrants. Bárcena also urged the Latin American and Caribbean countries to incorporate migration in their development agendas, especially the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Louise Arbour, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for International Migration, emphasized that migration has an overwhelmingly positive social, economic and cultural impact on countries of origin and destination, and is an empowering experience for millions of migrants and their families. [Watch video]

However, Arbour cautioned that while most of today’s 244 million international migrants move in a regular fashion, many are forced to move, live and work in the shadows, vulnerable to marginalization and abuse. Ensuring safe, orderly and regular migration must address the needs of these most vulnerable persons.

SRSG Arbour also stressed that principled and effective collaboration at the regional level is particularly key in this regard, since the migration policy of one country inevitably influences that of other countries. [Watch video]

She concluded by highlighting the need for leadership in both the political and public spheres, to end the current crisis of solidarity and to facilitate mobility in a safe, orderly and regular fashion.

Juan José Gómez Camacho, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Mexico to the UN and Co-facilitator of the intergovernmental consultations and negotiations on the GCM, highlighted the importance of the regional consultation for Latin America and the Caribbean region as part of the preparation phase. “We need to negotiate a Global Compact based on evidence,” Gómez Camacho emphasized. [Watch video]

The two-day event was organized under six thematic sessions that include human rights of migrants, response to migration drivers including climate change and natural disasters, international cooperation and migration governance as well as migrants’ contribution to sustainable development.

The sessions also included topics such as trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, as well as irregular and regular migration and labour mobility.

The next regional consultation will take place in Beirut, Lebanon on 26-27 September and will be hosted by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) with the League of Arab States.
For more information, please contact Juliana Quintero at the IOM Regional Office in Buenos Aires, Tel. + (54) 11 32488134, Email: juquintero@iom.int


Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 16:00Image: Region-Country: ChileThemes: Global CompactGlobal Compact on MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) Deputy Director General Laura Thompson at the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in Santiago, Chile. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

The Regional Consultation for Latin America and the Caribbean towards the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) took place last week (30-31/08) in Santiago, Chile. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Southern African Leaders Discuss Inclusive Economic Growth and SDGs

IOM - News - Mar, 09/05/2017 - 10:13

Johannesburg – Sustainable development experts participated in the Responsible Business Forum (RBF) in Johannesburg from 31 August to 1 September to discuss inclusive growth, as well as ways to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region. IOM, the UN Migration Agency participated in a workshop focusing on decent work and economic growth.

During the workshop, attendees shared their views on how to encourage entrepreneurship and job creation, two key factors of sustained economic growth. Discussion topics were clustered under partnerships, inclusive growth and interlinkages to exploit synergies and minimize trade-offs between the SDGs and their targets. Jason Theede, IOM Senior Regional Thematic Specialist presented at the panel.

“It is imperative to find ways to facilitate south-south cooperation between governments, but it is equally important to bring private sector and academia into the debate as well,” said Theede.

Theede also mentioned the need to increase efforts for achieving continental and regional economic integration. He drew attention to IOM’s work in Southern Africa, including the guidance provided to States to develop bilateral labour agreements, as well as recommendations to leverage the potential of labour mobility for economic and social development in the region.

The Responsible Business Forum is organized by Global Initiatives with support from partners including Bloomberg, ING, Huawei and other major private sector entities. The forum provides a space for sharing knowledge and best practices and calling on all stakeholders to jointly address global challenges such as economic inequality.

IOM’s tools, such as the Regional Guide to Facilitate South-South Labour Mobility in Southern Africa, along with its support to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) commission to implement the free movement protocol, provide strategic information for facilitating intra-African labour mobility.

For more information, please contact:
Jason Theede at IOM Regional Office in Pretoria, Email: jtheede@iom.int
Jorge Galindo at IOM HQ in Geneva, Tel: +417179205, Email: jgalindo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 15:59Image: Region-Country: South AfricaThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

The UN Migration Agency participates in a Responsible Business Forum (RBF) workshop in Johannesburg to discuss inclusive growth, as well as ways to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Vienna Hosts Thematic Session on Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons towards a Global Compact for Migration

IOM - News - Lun, 09/04/2017 - 05:04

Vienna – IOM Director General William Lacy Swing will address high-level government and UN officials, practitioners, and civil society tomorrow (05/09) at the UN Center in Vienna to call on States to carry out their commitments to combat migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons.

This is the fifth in a series of six sessions covering a range of issues on migration. It provides an opportunity to debate and examine actions taken, as well as gaps in responses to the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons. The session also provides a platform for States and agencies to share best practices and launch new initiatives.

Panel discussions will examine topics related to investigating and prosecuting criminal actors, preventing smuggling and trafficking in persons, protecting and providing assistance to victims of trafficking, and national and cross-border coordination and cooperation.

On Tuesday 5 September, IOM will co-host with Polaris the pre-launch event of the Counter Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC), a new global repository of harmonized human trafficking data, during a side event co-organized by the United Kingdom with closing remarks by IOM Director General. Today (04/09), IOM will host another side event with UNODC and the Republic of Turkey on supporting new models of cooperation to counter migrant smuggling. More information on both events can be found here.

IOM continues to provide policy and technical expertise to the Offices of the President of the General Assembly and the Special Representative for the Secretary-General (SRSG) on International Migration, who serves as the Secretary-General for the intergovernmental process to adopt a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). A sixth and final thematic session will take place in Geneva in October to be followed by a stocktaking meeting in December and intergovernmental negotiations beginning next year.

For more information please contact:

In Vienna: Joe Lowry, Tel: +43660 3776404, Email: jlowry@iom.int In Geneva: Leonard Doyle, Tel: +41792857123, Email: ldoyle@iom.int or media@iom.int

In New York: Lanna Walsh, Tel: +1929 9201127, Email lwalsh@iom.int

Language English Posted: Monday, September 4, 2017 - 10:57Image: Region-Country: AustriaDefault: Multimedia: 

The 4th GCM Thematic Session focused on the contribution of migrants and diaspora to sustainable development. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Working Group on Return and Reintegration Meets to Discuss Migration Management in West Africa

IOM - News - Gio, 08/31/2017 - 20:16

Niamey –The Migration Dialogue for West Africa (MIDWA) Thematic Working Group (TWG) on Return and Reintegration met in Niamey, Niger, from 30-31 August. The regional working group will bring together a network of officials involved in the management of return, readmission and reintegration of migrants in West Africa.

In the past five months, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has assisted in the voluntary return to West Africa of over 5,000 migrants. The working group recognizes that the scale of this trend requires a coordinated effort to bring together governmental authorities to discuss return policies and mechanisms. 

During the two-day meeting, participants will review and discuss regional initiatives on return and reintegration, such as assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) programs and migration flow management, lessons learned, best practices and the set-up of a monitoring and evaluation system. The general objective of this TWG will be to analyse the baseline situation of the return, readmission and reintegration processes in ECOWAS Member States. It will also identify specific challenges and/or weaknesses and the concrete steps towards improving coordination among key actors. Finally, it will also work on strengthening the migrant assistance and sustainable reintegration frameworks.

Migration is a paramount factor in the economic growth of West Africa, and the free movement area among ECOWAS Member States is intended to ensure the fulfilment of the Region’s economic potentials. IOM believes that AVRR is beneficial not only to returning migrants, but also communities of origin and transit. By offering a humane and dignified return, together with a tailor-made reintegration package, IOM ensures that return is more sustainable for the returnee and for the receiving community. On top of this, voluntary return can alleviate the pressure posed on transit and destination countries in the management of irregular migration flows.

This working group is organised under the Free Movement and Migration (FMM) in West Africa project, funded by the European Union and ECOWAS and the Protecting Vulnerable Migrants in West and Central Africa, funded by the Government of the United States of America.                             

For more information please contact Frantz Celestin at IOM Nigeria, Tel: +2348141375873, Email: fcelestin@iom.int or Michele Bombassei at IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Tel: +221338696200, Email: mbombassei@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 1, 2017 - 02:15Image: Region-Country: NigerThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Enhancing the governance of labour and skills mobility, improving migrant’s rights protection and facilitating the regional tripartite dialogue on labour migration, are some of the FMM West Africa’s priorities. Photo: FMM West Africa

Photo: FMM West Africa

Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency (IOM) Calls for Restraint, More Aid for Civilians Fleeing Myanmar

IOM - News - Mer, 08/30/2017 - 16:00
Language English

Geneva - UN Migration Agency (IOM) Director General William Lacy Swing today called on all parties in Myanmar to exercise restraint following fresh violence in Rakhine State. He also appealed to the international community to provide more support for civilians fleeing into neighbouring Bangladesh.
According to IOM Bangladesh, which coordinates humanitarian assistance to some 200,000 Undocumented Myanmar Nationals living in makeshift settlements in Cox’s Bazar, an estimated 18,500 people have crossed into Bangladesh from Myanmar since latest outbreak of violence on 25 August. Thousands more are still trapped in the no-man’s land between the two countries.
Director General Swing joined UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his condemnation of the coordinated attacks against Myanmar’s security forces, but called for a proportionate response on the part of the Myanmar authorities that recognizes the need to protect vulnerable civilians.
He noted that most of the civilians crossing the border are women, children and the elderly and appealed to Bangladesh, which already hosts an estimated 400,000 Undocumented Myanmar Nationals, to continue to admit desperate people fleeing the violence. 
IOM, he said, is at the request of the Bangladesh government, working with the local authorities, UN, NGO and other partners coordinating humanitarian assistance including deliveries of food, water and medical support in Cox’s Bazar.
While new arrivals who have entered Bangladesh are able to access these services, he appealed to Bangladesh to either admit people caught on the border or facilitate better access to enable humanitarian aid to reach them.
He also called on the Myanmar authorities in Rakhine State to facilitate the work of humanitarian agencies and provide access to vulnerable people in need of assistance to stabilize the situation and reduce the number of people trying to flee the country.
Welcoming the recommendations of a report published this week by the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, he noted that, if implemented, they would also contribute to greater stability. 
Limited resources mean that IOM and its humanitarian partners in Cox’s Bazar are now struggling to cope with the influx of new arrivals. IOM is committed to supporting both Myanmar and Bangladesh in addressing the humanitarian needs of people affected by this emerging humanitarian crisis on both sides of the border. But in order to achieve this, more support will be needed from the international community, he added. 
For more information please contact Leonard Doyle at IOM's Headquarters in Geneva, Tel: +41792857123, Email: ldoyle@iom.int or media@iom.int

Posted: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 - 21:52Image: Region-Country: BangladeshMyanmarThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Statement on International Day of the Disappeared

IOM - News - Mer, 08/30/2017 - 09:44

Geneva - Nearly, 23,000 migrant fatalities worldwide have been recorded by IOM, the UN Migration Agency’s Missing Migrants Project since 2014. Overall, 60,000 deaths on migration routes have been recorded in the last twenty years. However, not all deaths and disappearances are reported and/or recorded. In many regions of the world, migrants’ bodies are never found, and many more may never be identified.

Each nameless death represents a devastated family missing a loved one.

On the International Day of the Disappeared, it is vital that we remember the importance of saving lives also in relation to migrants. In many places around the world, men, women and children go missing during migration, some of whom are in detention without recourse to justice. The rights of migrants, including the right to life, must be protected in order to ensure that migration is safe, orderly, dignified and humane.

Though efforts are being made both to save lives and to improve identification, the thousands of deaths recorded by IOM each year contain only partial information on the individuals that lose their lives. It is likely that many more go missing without a trace.

The Mediterranean crossing, which has claimed the lives of nearly 15,000 migrants since it first made global headlines in October 2013, is just one example of the many deadly migration routes. Hundreds perish every year on the journey from Central America to the United States through Mexico, under the desert sun or are robbed, beaten and raped along the way. Migrants drown in the Bay of Bengal, or on their way from Indonesia to Australia, as they take dangerous sea passages in the hopes of a better life. Migrants die crossing the Sahara Desert into North Africa after being abandoned by smugglers, or drown in the Gulf of Aden as they try to reach the Middle East. Many more disappear and die without a trace.

As we work to save the lives of migrants, we must also consider the families who remain to grieve them. A tragedy even less acknowledged than the terrible loss of life is the fact that many of the migrant dead remain nameless. Each migrant that remains unidentified signifies a family searching for news, hoping that their mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin is still alive. These families may never be able to truly grieve because they do not know if they should.

Globally, one in seven people are migrants, mostly moving within countries but also across borders. Limiting opportunities for safe and regular migration drives would-be migrants into the hands of smugglers, feeding an unscrupulous trade that threatens the lives of desperate people. Practical protection measures to guarantee safe and regular ways for migrants to reach their destinations are needed. Irregular migrants are human beings in need of protection and assistance. When will we start respecting them?


Language English Posted: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 - 15:40Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

Cover image used for upcoming IOM report on migrant fatalities, Fatal Journeys Volume 3 - Improving Data on Missing Migrnats. “State of Exception/ Estado de Excepción”. Backpacks of migrants found in the Arizona desert, as part of the Undocumented Migration Project led by Jason De León at the University of Michigan. Installation: Richard Barnes (Artist/Photographer), Jason De León (Anthropologist), Amanda Krugliak (Artist/Curator). Photo: Richard Barnes / OTTO 2013

Categorie: Press Room IOM

No Migrant Deaths at Sea in Last 20 Days as Mediterranean Arrivals Reach 121,517 for 2017

IOM - News - Mar, 08/29/2017 - 11:38

Geneva – Since 9 August, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has not received any reports of migrant deaths in the Mediterranean. The total count for Mediterranean Sea fatalities has remained at 2,410 for 20 days. Just 19 deaths have been recorded in the region so far in all of August by IOM, a sharp drop from the 689 recorded in August 2015 and 62 last year. 

Some 121,517 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 27 August. This compares with 272,612 arrivals across the region through 27 August 2016. On Monday (28/08), 134 migrants were rescued at sea off Tripoli. So far in 2017, 13,282 migrants have been rescued in Libyan waters.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 3,514 fatalities in 2017 through 27 August. MMP recorded two migrant deaths on the US-Mexico border (two drownings in Río Bravo) and one train-related death in Central America, as well as one death in Europe: a migrant was found dead in the electrical compartment of a train at Cannes-La Bocca station on Saturday. This is the fourth migrant who has died from electrocution found at Cannes-La Bocca railway station in 2017.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/170829_Mediterranean_Update.pdf

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe

Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For more information, please contact:

Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int


Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - 17:23Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Italian Coast Guard rescues migrants and refugees bound for Italy. File photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) / Francesco Malavolta 2014

Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Increases Support for Migrants Rescued off Libyan Coast

IOM - News - Mar, 08/29/2017 - 11:23

Tripoli – IOM, the UN Migration Agency this week (27-28/08) met with Libyan authorities in Tunis to discuss an initial workplan and the establishment of a coordination body to facilitate rescues at sea. Libyan agencies taking part included the Libyan Coast Guard, the Libyan Red Crescent, the Passport Investigation Department and the General Department for Coast Security and the Border Points.

IOM has provided computer literacy classes and lifesaving equipment to Libyan authorities as part of a wider intervention to strengthen the Government’s humanitarian capacity. Participants have come from the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG), the Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM), as well as the General Department for Coast Security in Azzawya and Zuwara. The classes aim to improve documentation of sea rescue operations, including the registration of migrants at disembarkation points. Thirty participants took part, all involved in rescue operations.

“By better documentation of migrants at the disembarkation points, IOM is hoping to put a registration system in place to help regulate the humanitarian services provided to rescued migrants,” said Maysa Khalil, IOM Libya’s Operations Officer.

IOM also provided information technology equipment, including computers, to the Libyan Coast Guard officers at disembarkation points.

In addition, on 21 August, lifesaving equipment including life buoys, life vests, emergency blankets, torches and protection supplies (gloves, masks, body bags, and disposable suits for retrieving dead bodies) were delivered to the disembarkation points of Abu Setta and Alhamidya. A day later, on 22 August, lifesaving and protection equipment was handed over to the Libyan Coast Guard at the Janzour disembarkation point and Mesfat point in Al-Zawaya and in Zuwara.

“Saving lives remains our highest priority,” emphasized Othman Belbeisi, IOM Libya Chief of Mission. “As it is also a legal obligation, it is important to help the Libyan Coast Guard improve their capacities to save lives and respond in a better way to the needs of the migrants that they rescue.”

IOM recognizes that whilst saving lives remains the top priority, interventions need to be complemented with immediate assistance to rescued migrants following Search and Rescue operations, in particular upon disembarkation on Libyan shores. This includes the provision of humanitarian relief to migrants, as well as regular capacity building training for the Libyan Coast Guard and other stakeholders, particularly in the area of human rights and first aid.

IOM is in the process of rehabilitating three disembarkation points of the planned six. The rehabilitation includes the provision of a shaded area and installation of a water tank, floor cementing, water pumps, lighting systems and cabling networks, as well as toilets and showering facilities, and rehabilitation of the sewage and water piping networks. Migrants can spend anywhere from a few hours to a whole night at these points, following long journeys typically through the Sahara Desert.

IOM’s rescue at sea interventions are funded by the Governments of the Netherlands and Switzerland, and the European Union.

For more information, please contact IOM Libya:
Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600 389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int or Maysa Khalil, Tel: +216 29 600 388, Email: mkhalil@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - 17:14Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) provides lifesaving equipment to Libyan authorities as part of a wider intervention to strengthen the Government’s humanitarian capacity. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) provides lifesaving equipment to Libyan authorities as part of a wider intervention to strengthen the Government’s humanitarian capacity. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categorie: Press Room IOM

50 Ethiopian Migrants Stranded in Puntland Return Home with UN Migration Agency Assistance

IOM - News - Mar, 08/29/2017 - 11:13
Language English

Bossaso – On 18 and 27 August, IOM, the UN Migration Agency helped a total of 50 vulnerable Ethiopian migrants return home from Puntland. The two groups were made up of five women, 29 men and 16 children, one of whom was accompanied.

This voluntary return assistance was carried out in collaboration with the Puntland Ministry of Interior, the Bossaso Migrant Response Centre, the Ethiopian Community Association in Bossaso and the Ethiopian Consulate in Garowe.

Migrants transiting through Bossaso, Puntland, face a number of risks including kidnapping by smugglers for ransom, as well as other forms of exploitation and abuse. Migrants are considered a source of income by smuggling networks and impunity for these criminal acts has resulted in the increasing incidences of abuse of migrants in the hands of the smugglers.

Haille, one of the stranded Ethiopians, said that he had stayed in Bossaso for five years with his wife and four children. His wife left for the Middle East a few months ago for work. Since then, it has been difficult to raise the children on his own and so he decided to return home.

Thirteen-year-old Feisal* (*name changed to protect his identity), on the returnees, wept as he spoke to his mother, back home on the phone at IOM’s Migrant Response Centre. “I want to come home,” he sobbed.

Ibrahim left Ethiopia with a group of young men who had planned to make the perilous journey across the Gulf of Aden to the Middle East in search of jobs. Along the way, he fell into the hands of smugglers who abused him. When he got to Bossaso, he escaped to IOM’s Migrant Response Centre where he sought assistance.

Seven of the Ethiopians had fled the ongoing conflict in Yemen and were stranded in Bossaso, with minimal means of survival. The mentioned that they had been living in Yemen for up to eight years.

IOM Somalia worked closely with the Ethiopian Consulate in Puntland to facilitate identity verification and issuance of travel documents.

Once they arrived in Ethiopia, IOM provided the migrants with onward travel assistance to their final destinations, and support to help them reintegrate into their home communities.

This voluntary return operation was made possible through funding provided by the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) through the Regional Mixed Migration Program for the Horn of Africa and Yemen. The EU-funded Facility on Sustainable and Dignified Return and Reintegration in Support of the Khartoum Process provided funding for the reintegration assistance.

For more information, please contact Solomon Tagel at IOM Somalia, Tel: +254 712 835 079, Email: tsolomon@iom.int


Posted: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - 17:09Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Young Migrant, Refugee, Turkish Entrepreneurs Bring Business Ideas to Life through UN Migration Agency Support

IOM - News - Mar, 08/29/2017 - 11:08

Izmir – Last weekend (26-27/08), 11 teams of young migrant, refugee and Turkish entrepreneurs presented their innovative business ideas to IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in the hope of securing a grant. Under its entrepreneurship training and grants project, IOM is working to build business skills among young people, helping make their business ideas a reality.

“The entrepreneurship training and grants project give young people from refugee and host communities the opportunity to develop their business ideas, which might have otherwise fallen through the cracks,” said Jamil Awan, IOM Turkey Livelihood Programme Officer. “The project was originally developed to help the Syrian community in Turkey, but was later expanded to include migrant and host community youth. Now, the programme builds social cohesion.”

From 14–26 August, 11 teams comprising 23 participants worked with mentors and trainers as part of the InnoCampus Entrepreneurship Accelerator Training implemented by Innomate, a collaborative non-profit project partner of IOM. The two-week intensive course taught participants business management, finance and marketing strategies, as well as product design, prototyping and branding.

Some of the businesses are social enterprises that aim to provide alternative solutions to problems, such as the “Mental Segment” project. Two young entrepreneurs have developed educational toys to help autistic children learn language and interact with their surroundings.

“Autistic children should learn how to use language before the age of 10,” explained Can, one of the co-founders. “What we offer are unique toys to assist professionals and parents customize education to their autistic child. We came to the training with hopes of getting more visibility to launch our product and we are extremely excited to have been able to reach out to a wider audience thanks to the exposure we have had.”

This is the second phase of IOM’s entrepreneurship project in Turkey. The first was held in Gaziantep from February to May 2017, where three teams with the most viable business plans were selected to receive grants.  These included Joon (modernizing traditional handicrafts created by refugees), Corners (a Syrian interior design team) and Akram (a business designing customized oriental watches). 

With the assistance of IOM’s entrepreneurship programme partnered with Innomate, Joon was part of a four-month training programme to help them develop their business plan. Duygu, Azra and Yashar from Joon have been developing their business plan to help talented refugee artisans bring their handicrafts to the commercial market. They have an innovative approach to handicrafts using laser design, 3D printing and other technologies to adapt traditional handicrafts to modern design. 

“It might be common for NGOs and small business to work with traditional craftsmen. However, the training programme helped us find our niche and to stand out from our competitors. Our business plan will not easily be overtaken by mass production,” said Azra.

“We want to help the disadvantaged and to enable them to bring their passion to the market place. That is our passion,” said Duygu.

Following the end of the programme in Izmir, the entrepreneurship training and grant project will move to Sanliurfa towards the end of the year (October 2017–January 2018) followed by Hatay in early 2018 (February–May 2018).

Entrepreneurship teams that have an innovative business idea and are interested in taking part can contact info@innocampus.org for more information.

IOM’s livelihoods programmes are funded by the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).

For more information, please contact Abby Dwommoh at IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 312 454 3048, Email: MediaIOMTurkey@iom.int


Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - 17:02Image: Region-Country: TurkeyThemes: Migration and DevelopmentRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Duygu, Azra and Yashar have been developing their business plan to assist talented, but struggling, artisans bring their handicrafts to the commercial market trough Joon, their start-up company. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categorie: Press Room IOM