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IOM Deplores Death of Migrant, Killed Thursday upon Disembarkation in Tripoli

IOM - News - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 10:46

Geneva - A Sudanese migrant died from a bullet wound Thursday, hours after being returned to shore by the Libyan Coast Guard. The International Organization for Migration (IOM), whose staff witnessed the tragedy, strongly condemns the migrant's death.

The tragedy occurred at Abusitta Disembarkation point in Tripoli as many of the 103 migrants returned to shore were resisting being sent back to detention centers. IOM staff, who were on the scene to provide aid to migrants, report that armed men began shooting in the air when several migrants tried to run away from their guards.

The migrant was struck by a bullet in the stomach. Despite immediately receiving medical aid on the spot by an IOM doctor and then being transferred to a nearby clinic — he died two hours after admission.

“This was tragedy waiting to happen,” said IOM Spokesperson Leonard Doyle.  “The use of live bullets against unarmed vulnerable civilians, men, women and children alike, is unacceptable under any circumstances and raises alarms over the safety of migrants and humanitarian staff. The IOM calls upon Libyan authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of this incident and those found responsible to be brought to justice,” he stated.

The death is a stark reminder of the grim conditions faced by migrants picked up by the Coast Guard after paying smugglers to take them to Europe, only to find themselves put into detention centers, whose conditions have been condemned by IOM and the UN.

This tragedy comes two months after 53 migrants, among them six minors, were killed in an airstrike on the Tajoura detention centre. That facility remains operational to this day, despite persistent calls to end the arbitrary detention of migrants. IOM believes alternatives to detention must be found.

Some 5,000 migrant women, children, and men remain detained in inhumane conditions in Libya. Over 3,000 are detained in areas of active conflict where they are at heightened risk.

While IOM continues to provide humanitarian assistance to vulnerable and conflict-affected persons across Libya, the increasing reports of abuse and human trafficking from detention centres are truly alarming.

Concern over the humanitarian situation in Libya must now be transformed into immediate action. All sides must act to put an end to the suffering of civilians in Libya, especially detained migrants.

For more information, please contact Safa Msehli, IOM Geneva Tel.: + 41 76 613 3175 Email: smsehli@iom.int Or Leonard Doyle, IOM Geneva, Tel. +41-792 85 7123, Email: LDoyle@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019 - 16:50Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM doctor providing medical assistance to migrants upon disembarkation @IOM Libya 2019 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: Press Room IOM

IOM Offers Real-Time Information for People Displaced by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas

IOM - News - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 10:46

Nassau – Almost three weeks after Hurricane Dorian decimated Abaco and Grand Bahamas islands, almost 2,000 persons evacuated from these islands remain in shelters in New Providence, a few kilometres west of Nassau. Many more are temporarily accommodated with family and friends. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is exploring with the government of The Bahamas the implementation of a cloud-based system which can be used to facilitate shelter management and family reunification.

“After a disaster like Hurricane Dorian, reliable information is one of the most critical components of response and recovery efforts.  Sadly, as the pressure builds to address humanitarian needs, it is often overlooked,” said Jan-Willem Wegdam, IOM team leader in The Bahamas. “To ensure that IOM implements efficient and relevant programmes, the emergency response team has engaged in several dialogues with government officials, local NGOs and other international humanitarian partners to exchange ideas and finalise project concepts.”

On Wednesday, 18 September, IOM staff in Nassau met with representatives of the Department of Social Services – the institution in charge of managing government-run shelters. During the meeting, the Government officials outlined their current information management practices and shared the needs of the institution in that regard.  Thereafter, IOM presented methodologies and products to support the ministry with managing information on evacuees and other displaced individuals and their needs. 

One such product was the Integrated Shelter Registration System (SIRA) – an electronic system used to connect Government approved collective centres under a single cloud-based system which can be used to facilitate shelter management.  If implemented, the system would allow the department to generate real-time report on the status and needs of the population living in collective centres.

“Capturing that type of data is important because the population in the collective centres is changing constantly,” IOM Information Management and Research Officer, David Morales, said. “So updated information is fundamental to support the humanitarian response of all the partners."  Following the meeting, IOM has shared a detailed proposal for a comprehensive data collection strategy to be implemented over the next few months in support of recovery and rehabilitation efforts.

Considering how the exchange of information between humanitarian partners, officials, emergency managers and those impacted by Hurricane Dorian, is so vital, IOM on Thursday (19 September), met with the Ministry of Financial Services, Trade & Industry and Immigration.  The dialogue was considered as an opportunity to start what will hopefully be a long-lasting conversation between the Government and IOM, as well as the rest of the humanitarian community, on challenges and options to address the needs of affected persons of Haitian descent, in both regular and irregular status.

“Challenges and issues related to migration status and cultural diversity have already come up as part of people’s access to all forms of assistance in the aftermath of the hurricane” said Lorenzo Guadagno, manager of IOM’s MICIC (Migrants in Countries in Crisis) capacity building activities, “anticipating and addressing them will be essential to successful response and recovery for the migrants as well as for the whole community.”

For more information please contact Vynliz Dailey in the Bahamas, Email: vdailey@iom.int, Tel +1 (767) 615-6681.

Language English Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019 - 16:45Image: Region-Country: BahamasThemes: Disaster Risk ReductionDefault: Multimedia: 

Category 5 Hurricane Dorian left 52 death and 1,300 missing persons in The Bahamas. Thousands were evacuated to Nassau and neighboring locations, where they remain in temporary shelters. IOM is offering the roll out of its Integrated Shelter Registration System (SIRA) to facilitate shelter management and family reunification. Photo: IOM/Jorge Gallo 

Category 5 Hurricane Dorian left 52 death and 1,300 missing persons in The Bahamas. Thousands were evacuated to Nassau and neighboring locations, where they remain in temporary shelters. IOM is offering the roll out of its Integrated Shelter Registration System (SIRA) to facilitate shelter management and family reunification. Photo: IOM/Jorge Gallo 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: Press Room IOM

Decades-Old Conflict Over Water in Yemeni Village Comes to an End

IOM - News - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 10:46

Lahj – More than 20 million people in Yemen are food insecure and water is a scarce resource, with access further restricted by over four years of conflict. This is especially challenging for farmers who depend on water for a good harvest.  Through support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in partnership with the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), access to water has been improved for Yemeni farmers living across nearly 4,000 acres of agricultural land in the coastal governorate of Lahj.

In the area of Al Faradha, improved access to water for 2,000 farmers, as reported by the local community, has also meant an end to a 37-year-old local conflict.

In 1982, a large flood surged into Al Faradha causing great damage to an irrigation channel used by local farmers, who solely depended on rain passing through the channel to irrigate their farms. When the channel was damaged, many of them were deprived of access to water for their farms.

“The farms were nourished with water, the crops were abundant, and the farms were green, but when the flood destroyed the channel, farmers could not irrigate their lands and stopped farming,” explained Sami Saleh, the Secretary General of the Water User Association in Al Faradha. Years of fighting have meant that there are little resources available for the maintenance to public infrastructure like irrigation channels, and in a country like Yemen where7.4 million people require services to treat or prevent malnutrition, ensuring that farmers can grow crops is of paramount importance.

In a desperate attempt to irrigate their lands, farmers in Al Faradha changed the path of the channel by connecting it to other nearby main channels, diverting the water flow. The detour, while increasing access for some farmers, decreased the water flow to the farmlands of others. The flow became too little and was shared by too many farms, and upstream in the channel flooding would take place with the excess watering running into the sea and being lost by the community. The farmers livelihoods were heavily affected, and a dispute arose between more than 500 farmers from Al Faradha and others living in nearby areas. A dispute that lasted for nearly 30 years.

Through funding from the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund, IOM partnered with FAO to support the community in Al Faradha solve their long running water access issues. The UN organizations worked with the local Water User Association to kick start the process. The three partners met the parties involved in the local conflict to understand their issues and work together on possible solutions.

“This is truly a community-led project, with IOM and FAO merely listening to the community about their needs and problems and facilitating them in addressing their water access issues,” said Abeer Aboras, a member of IOM’s team in Yemen. “It’s also important to note that women, who work side-by-side with men in farms or are often heads of rural households, had an essential role in resolving Al Faradha’s water access problems,” added Aboras.

Before this project, the Al Faradha Water User Association, established in 2004, had never included any women on its board. During the project, the Association members came to believe in the positive impact of including women in conflict resolution. To work specifically on resolving the water conflict, IOM established a Conflict Resolution Committee (CRC) in Al Faradha, which consisted of two women and two men to begin negotiations in order to come up with a solution.

The Association and Committee, with local farmers, decided to build a dam to stop the water from flowing away from local farmlands, reconstruct water gates and remove sediment from the channel to increase its capacity to contain more water.

“The water is enough water for everyone living off these irrigation channels now, so the dispute subsided between the farmers, and their agricultural productivity has increased greatly,” added Thamer Bin Shoa’ib, an IOM Yemen Field Engineer, who worked with the community in Al Faradha.

Today, an IOM partner supervises the operation of the dam, ensuring every farm gets its fair share of water.

IOM and FAO implemented this UN Peace Building Fund project in both Sana’a and Lahj governorates. As a result of the project, thousands of farmers have improved access to water through rehabilitated irrigation channels in seven sites throughout Lahj governorate’s Turban Valley, with around 400 people from local communities employed during the construction work.

The irrigation channel rehabilitations have not only assisted farmers in rebuilding their livelihoods and given vulnerable households an income but helped communities end age-old local conflicts.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon in IOM Sana’a, Tel: +967730552233, Email: oheadon@iom.int

  Language English Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019 - 16:40Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: ShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM and FAO support communities in Yemen to rehabilitate irrigation channels and solve long-running local conflicts over water access. Photo: IOM 

IOM and FAO support communities in Yemen to rehabilitate irrigation channels and solve long-running local conflicts over water access. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: Press Room IOM

After Crisis, Community Resource Centres Foster Reintegration and Rehabilitation in Iraq

IOM - News - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 10:46

Jalawla During the ISIL crisis in Iraq, 3.5 million people were displaced from their homes. Since Iraq declared victory over ISIL in December 2017, nearly 1.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) have returned to their locations of origin. But the most affected areas still suffer from the lack of services, decline in livelihood opportunities, and the destruction of public infrastructure.

To better address the return and reintegration needs of affected populations, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has established six Community Resource Centres (CRCs) in partnership with the Government of Iraq’s Joint Coordination and Monitoring Centre (JCMC) and humanitarian partners.

The sixth IOM-run CRC was inaugurated this Thursday (19/9) in Jalawla, Diyala Governorate – which has welcomed back over 220,000 returnees. Government officials, including the mayor of Jalawla, and representatives of partner local and international humanitarian organizations were in attendance.

“IOM is one of many partners working to carry out protection, health, livelihood and education programmes through the CRC network,” added IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Gerard Waite. “In coordination with the government, it’s crucial that we continue supporting vulnerable communities with durable solutions, such as long-term reintegration strategies and provision of essential services.”

The Jalawla CRC launch follows the opening of another centre in Baiji, Salah-al-Din Governorate, in early September. The centres will be open from Sunday to Thursday; working hours will be decided by implementing partners.

The centres act as assistance and interaction hubs for all these communities and the public institutions that support them: the government, United Nations agencies, nongovernmental organizations, civil society organizations and other local actors.

The CRCs aim to increase opportunities for sustainable socio-economic reintegration by facilitating service delivery that will benefit returnees, those who remain in displacement and their host communities.

Core CRC activities include awareness raising and information dissemination; legal counselling and representation; informal education activities; Housing, Land and Property counselling; livelihood, capacity and skill-building opportunities, as well as making referrals to protection, mental health and psychosocial support, and other services within the CRC coverage areas.

“The CRCs are an important part of our effort to engage with displaced individuals before and after they return, and to understand their needs so that we can provide an effective response, services and job opportunities,” said Naseer Abdel Sattar, Executive Director of the JCMC. “CRCs will help us put mechanisms in place to facilitate safe returns and the reintegration of mixed populations in affected communities.”

The Community Resource Centres in Baiji and Jalawla were established under the project SAFE RETURN – Reintegration and Recovery Assistance in Areas of Return in Iraq (AWDA AMINA), funded by the European Union. The project contributes to improving migration management in Iraq and aims to build the resilience of migrants, forcibly displaced persons and host communities.

For more information please contact:
IOM Iraq’s Public Information Unit, Email : iraqpublicinfo@iom.int
JCMC, Email: jcmccomsec@gmail.com

Language English Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019 - 16:35Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Diversity and IntegrationDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: Press Room IOM

New IOM Data Collection Reveals Latest Migratory Trends in Mauritania

IOM - News - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 10:46

Nouakchott The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Mauritania presented a research study this week (17/09) revealing Mauritania, a country of 3.9 million people in West Africa, as both a transit country on the Western Mediterranean Route, and a destination for West African migrants seeking job opportunities in the country’s growing fishery and construction sectors.

Through interviews conducted with key informants – migrant community representatives, local authorities, and associations in Mauritania’s capital, Nouakchott – IOM now estimates that there 84,000 migrants living in the city. Through a sample of 1,183 interviews conducted with migrants, a large majority of individuals who moved to Nouakchott indicated they have been able to attain income-generating jobs (94%) although only 39 per cent indicated they plan to remain in the capital.

A majority (61%) considers the relation with the host community as good or very good in Nouakchott and 85 per cent of those fallen sick declared to have received adequate medical treatment. Of those planning to leave the country, Spain, Morocco and Italy are the top intended destinations.

“These new findings on the migratory movements in Mauritania confirm some of the trends we have been observing lately. Moreover, the new transhumance tracking tool developed by IOM captures a critical seasonal movement for populations in Mauritania, a movement which is source of income and that could be increasingly affected by climate change and instability at borders,” said Laura Lungarotti, IOM Chief of Mission in Mauritania.

Most of the migrants living in Mauritania are Senegalese, Malian and Guinean men aged between 18 and 35. Migrants in Nouakchott usually stay for a longer time than those living in Nouadhibou (20 per cent arrived in the capital city before 2010 while the large majority of those living in Nouadhibou arrived between 2017 and 2019).

Nouadhibou, Mauritania’s main port city, has an estimated 32,000 migrant population, the majority of whom considered Nouadhibou as their destination at the moment of departure (70%). At the time the survey was completed, only 25 per cent were planning to stay, while 38 per cent had intentions to leave. The rest indicated no definite plans.

Of those wishing to leave, 21 per cent mentioned that they wanted to return to their country of origin, while 16 per cent plan to move to a third country. 

At the launch event, IOM also presented to the government representatives and its partners the outcomes of its recently launched Transhumance Tracking Tool (TTT), which aims to provide a better understanding of the transhumance routes due to climate-induced challenges.

During the collecting period, more than 2,000 herds – circa 450,000 heads of cattle – and approximately 8,700 herders were observed in the southern regions of Trarza, Gorgol and Guidimagha bordering Senegal and Mali.

Up to 62 per cent of the herders said they faced challenges related to environmental conditions en route, and 6 per cent mentioned conflicts with local communities during the transhumance as resources get scarcer and competition between communities to access them increases.

These migratory trends were established by IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) data collection tool.

“The Government regularly collects information of migratory movements across the country and we are strengthening our collaboration with all stakeholders to ensure that data collection, analysis and sharing becomes regular,” said Sidi Mohamed El Ghassem, head of the Directorate of Territorial Surveillance of the Ministry of Interior of Mauritania.

IOM in Mauritania will continue to monitor migration trends across the country and will pursue its DTM activities in Nouakchott, Nouadhibou and along the transhumance routes. Upcoming initiatives will include programmes on protection of vulnerable populations and child mobility.

These data collection activities were made possible thanks to the support of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in Mauritania, the Government of Japan and IOM’s Development Fund.

To read the report here

For more information, please contact Lisa Godde at IOM Mauritania: Email: lgodde@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019 - 16:30Image: Region-Country: MauritaniaThemes: Migration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Nouadhibou is Mauritania’s economic hub attracting every year West African migrants. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: Press Room IOM

Protecting Unaccompanied and Separated Children in Ethiopia

IOM - News - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 10:46

 Addis Ababa – The number of children who return irregularly in Ethiopia has been on the increase in recent years. Since the start of 2019, over 2,100 cases have been assisted by IOM. This is nearly double the over 1,000 cases recorded in the whole of 2018.

As part of efforts to deal with a spike in such cases, this week an interagency task force on Unaccompanied and Separated Children (IATF UASC) of the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action, organized a Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop for child protection practitioners.

“Minimum standards for child protection are assured when practitioners understand and implement the guidelines, basic modalities and principles, and such trainings are essential for sharing best practices compiled by major actors working on child protection in humanitarian settings. That is why we are providing such trainings,” Nadia Akmoun, Protection Officer at IOM Geneva and current lead of the UASC IATF of the Alliance CPHA, said.

Participants included representatives of ICRC, IRC, Save the Children, UNICEF, UNHCR, World Vision International and Terre des Hommes and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which directed the training.

The training, supported by IOM Ethiopia in coordination with the Child Protection Area of Responsibility (CPAoR) and the national Child Protection Sub Cluster in Ethiopia, took place over five days in Bishoftu City, with instruction based on the inter-agency taskforce[1] on UASC’s two reference publications – the Field Handbook, and its accompanying Toolkit on Unaccompanied and Separated Children.

“The training has provided us with a good opportunity to understand the basic modalities on child protection and other practical aspects,” Sumeya Mohammed, UNHCR Child Protection Associate from the Addis Ababa Office said.

According to this attendee, the meeting also gave her an opportunity to learn from the other partners working on child protection, adding, “It has broadened my views on the other context of dealing with unaccompanied and separated children, besides the Internally Displaced Persons and refugees context that I am aware of.”

The first roll-out of the ToT, which is being conducted in Ethiopia this month, is funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) as part of the project Regional Migrant Response Plan for Horn of Africa and Yemen (RMRP), with support of the CPAoR.

For more information, please contact Alemayehu Seifeselassie, IOM Ethiopia. Tel: +251-116-611117 (Ext. 1455), Mobile: +251-911-639082, Email: salemayehu@iom.int

Pls fix link 

Language English Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019 - 16:25Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: IOMDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 63,417 in 2019; Deaths Reach 953

IOM - News - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 10:46


Geneva – IOM reports that 63,417 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 18 September, roughly a 20 per cent decrease from the 78,372 arriving during a similar period last year.

Arrivals this year to Greece and Spain are at 32,767 and 16,894, respectively (49,661 combined), accounting for about 78 per cent of the regional total, with the balance arriving in much smaller numbers to Italy, Malta and Cyprus. Arrivals to Greece are running almost 50 per cent ahead of 2018’s totals from this time. Arrivals to Spain are almost 50 per cent lower.

Almost 20,000 new arrivals have landed on Mediterranean shores since 16 August, of an average of over 600 people per day on three major routes, making these recent weeks among the busiest seen in over a year.

Deaths recorded on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through almost seven months of 2019 are at 953 individuals – or about 52 per cent of the 1,839 deaths confirmed during the same period in 2018 (see chart below).

Mediterranean Developments

In the past two weeks, the deaths of several dozen people were documented on sea routes across the Mediterranean. On Tuesday (17 September), a boat sank 10 kilometres off the coast of Sfax, Tunisia. Nine survivors were rescued alongside the remains of three people who drowned. Survivors reported that four people remain missing. Another boat capsized on Wednesday (18 September) off the coast of the Tunisian island of Djerba. Six people were safely brought to shore, but four lost their lives in the capsize.

At least two shipwrecks also were recorded off the coast of Algeria. On 17 September, the remains of three young Algerian men were retrieved during a rescue operation five nautical miles north of Cap Falcon, Oran, on the western shores of Algeria, where boats depart for Spain’s mainland. Eight survivors were rescued from the sinking boat and brought back to shore.
On the night of 17 September, another boat sank off the coast of Cap Djinet/Dellys, 70 kilometers east of Algiers. While reports of the number of dead and missing are still being verified by the Missing Migrants Project (MMP) team, initial information indicates that up to 13 people may have lost their lives in this shipwreck.

This last incident is not included in the total above as verification is ongoing. According to Spanish media, several boats departed from the Algerian shore near Dellys on Tuesday night. Six boats reached Spain’s Balearic Islands and one arrived in Jávea, in mainland Spain.

Most recently, one man was found dead in a boat recovered by the Maltese Armed Forces. Three survivors were rescued in the operation; however, one other man is now in critical condition in hospital.

IOM Spain

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported on Monday sea arrivals to Spain through 11 August have reached 16,894, or about 2,000 in the past month (see chart below).


Another 4,008 irregular migrants have also crossed into Spain by land into the African enclaves of Ceuta (967 arrivals) and Melilla (3,041).

IOM Greece

IOM Greece’s Christine Nikolaidou reported on Thursday (19/09) that over seven days (12-19/09), the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) confirmed at least 29 incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Kos, Symi, Leros, Kalymnos and the port of Alexandroupoli. The HCG rescued a total of 882 migrants and transferred them to the respective ports.

Those arrivals, plus some 1,130 between the days of 11-17 September at various islands and ports bring to 32,767 the total number of irregular migrants and refugees IOM has recorded arriving by sea to Greece this year.

Nearly 10,000 – or almost one third of all arrivals this year – have landed in the Aegean since 16 August, or just over a month ago. Through less than three-fourths of this year, irregular arrivals have now surpassed the numbers reached through all of 2017 or 2018 (see chart below).

Missing Migrants Project

2019 is the sixth year of IOM’s efforts to systematically record deaths on migration routes worldwide through its Missing Migrants Project. Since the beginning of 2014, the project has recorded the deaths of 33,474 people, including 2,312 in 2019 through 18 September (see chart below).

Due to the challenges of collecting information about these people and the contexts of their deaths, the true number of lives lost during migration is likely much higher. Missing Migrants Project records should only be viewed as indicative of the risks associated with migration, rather than representative of the true number of deaths across time or geography.

Since the start of the year, at least 315 people have died while attempting to cross the US-Mexico border. MMP recorded 341 deaths on this border in the same period in 2018; however, it is important to note that deaths along this border are often recorded retroactively, largely because remains may not be found until much later after people die due to the vast and harsh terrain.

On the US-Mexico border this month, at least seven people have drowned in the Río Bravo or in canals near the border, just since 11 September. On that day, a 27-year-old Honduran woman and her 21-month-old son lost their lives while trying to cross to the US. Their bodies were recovered by US Border Patrol agents in an area near San Felipe Creek in Val Verde County. The Honduran Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the woman and her son were trying to reach North Carolina, where her husband and two daughters, aged five and seven, had moved earlier this year.

Three days later, on 14 September, two young Mexican men, aged 18 and 22, drowned in the Río Bravo near Isla del Mudo, in Mexico’s northern state of Coahuila. On 16 September, the remains of a woman were recovered from the river near the Donna-Río Bravo international Bridge in Tamaulipas. The body of an unidentified man was found the following day in an area near Piedras Negras, Coahuila. That same day (17 September), the remains of a man of Chinese nationality were recovered from a canal in El Paso’s Lower Valley, located north of the border fence along the Río Bravo.

Tragedies in the Americas continued this month on sea lanes, which have been particularly deadly in 2019. In the Caribbean, a boat capsized near Martinica Beach, Puerto Rico on Saturday 14 September. Puerto Rico police recovered the remains of three people from the beach and found 14 survivors who had reached the shore. According to their testimonies, 38 people were on board the boat which left the Dominican Republic late last week. An unknown number of people may have lost their lives during the shipwreck, but no estimates of the number of missing are available.

This year MMP has counted 154 fatalities at sea in the Americas, more than quadruple last year‘s total. In total, at least 588 people have lost their lives in the Americas in 2019, compared with 442 recorded through this point in 2018 – an increase of roughly 33 per cent.

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrants’ deaths and disappearances are collected, click here. The report Fatal Journey Volume 4, published 28 June, includes an overview of five years of Missing Migrants Project data (2014-2018) and an update on what is known about deaths during migration in 2019. For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, click here. Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project.

See contacts here.

Language English Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019 - 16:19Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: Press Room IOM

IOM Deplores Death of Migrant, Killed Thursday upon Disembarkation in Tripoli

IOM - News - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 22:43

Geneva - A Sudanese Migrant died from a bullet wound Thursday, hours after being returned to shore by the Libyan Coast Guard. The International Organization for Migration (IOM), whose staff witnessed the tragedy, strongly condemns the migrant's death.

The tragedy occurred at Abusitta Disembarkation point in Tripoli as many of the 103 migrants returned to shore were resisting being sent back to detention centers. IOM staff who were on the scene to provide aid to migrants report that armed men began shooting in the air when several migrants tried to run away from their guards.

The migrant was struck by a bullet in the stomach. Despite immediately receiving medical aid on the spot by an IOM doctor and then being transferred to a nearby clinic — he died two hours after admission.

“This was tragedy waiting to happen,” said IOM Spokesperson Leonard Doyle.  “The use of live bullets against unarmed vulnerable civilians, men, women and children alike,  is unacceptable under any circumstances and raises alarms over the safety of migrants and humanitarian staff. The IOM calls upon Libyan authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of this incident and those found responsible to be brought to justice,” he stated.

The death is a stark reminder of the grim conditions faced by migrants picked up by the Coast Guard after paying smugglers to take them to Europe, only to find themselves put into detention centers, whose conditions have been condemned by IOM and the UN.

This tragedy comes two months after 53 migrants, among them 6 minors, were killed in an airstrike on the Tajoura detention centre. That facility remains operational to this day, despite persistent calls to end the arbitrary detention of migrants. IOM believes alternatives to detention must be found.

Some 5,000 migrant women, children, and men remain detained in inhumane conditions in Libya. Over 3,000 are detained in areas of active conflict where they are at heightened risk. 

While IOM continues to provide humanitarian assistance to vulnerable and conflict-affected persons across Libya, the increasing reports of abuse and human trafficking from detention centres are truly alarming. 

Concern over the humanitarian situation in Libya must now be transformed into immediate action. All sides must act to put an end to the suffering of civilians in Libya, especially detained migrants.

For more information, please contact Safa Msehli, IOM Geneva Tel.: + 41 76 613 3175 Email: smsehli@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 22:40Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: migrants in vulnerable situationsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: Press Room IOM

IOM Launches Manual on Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies and Displacement

IOM - News - Tue, 09/17/2019 - 12:04

Geneva— Mental health and psychosocial support are increasingly considered an essential element of humanitarian responses for populations displaced due to wars and conflicts, natural disasters, famine and poverty, and those torn by emergencies.  

Mass disruptions and displacement can bring to several sources of stress for individuals, families and communities involved. Providing psychosocial support in educational, cultural, community, religious and health settings reduces vulnerabilities, and prevents their stagnation.  

As Guglielmo Schinina, Head of Mental health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) at IOM stated, “A  community-based approach needs to inform mental health and psychosocial support in emergency and displacement situations, since it helps in addressing the collective and individual psychosocial reactions to the  adversity, building  on the existing or pre-existing strengths of affected communities, re-establishing a sense of agency and avoiding a feeling of disempowerment.”  

In line with that philosophy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) yesterday (16/09) launched  its Manual on Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies and Displacement. The Manual is presented in an interactive online version, which includes hyperlinks to complementary resources accessible at this link: https://www.iom.int/mhpsed 

“The new manual is a step forward in IOM’s efforts to build the capacity of humanitarian actors and member states in addressing the psychosocial challenges of emergencies and displacement,” affirmed Jacqueline Weekers, Head of IOM’s Migration Health Division.  

The Manual is the fruit of two years’ labor as research, review and field testing, involving more than 100 professionals, practitioners, academics and humanitarian actors from IOM, other international organizations, NGOs, local initiatives and communities of practices.  

The main aim of the manual is to provide those responsible for MHPSS in emergencies with a reference document that can help them in the practical implementation of their activities with a community-based approach.  

Some of the activities aimed at strengthening the social fabric and helping people overcome their distress described in the manual include sociocultural, artistic, and educational programs and workshops, sport and play, rituals and celebrations, counselling and clinical and social support for those with severe mental disorders.  

The manual describes ways to integrate mental health and psychosocial support in other activities, like livelihood support, protection of vulnerable cases, and conflict transformation.       

About IOM MHPSS 

The IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. IOM has been active in psychosocial support for decades, by developing interventions, trainings and research projects in more than 70 countries worldwide. IOM MHPSS activities are supervised by a dedicated Mental Health, Psychosocial Response and Intercultural Communication Section. 

For more information please contact: Mental Health, Psychosocial Response and Intercultural Communication - Global, contactpss@iom.int 

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 11:53Image: Region-Country: NigeriaThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

Self-portrait elaborated by a Nigerian IDP and psychosocial worker, during a five-day workshop on autobiographical models through art, organized by IOM in Maiduguri, Nigeria @IOM 2018/Rola Soulheil.

Art workshop. Psychosocial Mobile Teams. Gubio IDP camp, Maiduguri, Nigeria @IOM 2018.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: Press Room IOM

IOM Launches Manual on Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies and Displacement

IOM - News - Tue, 09/17/2019 - 11:55

Geneva— Mental health and psychosocial support are increasingly considered an essential element of humanitarian responses for populations displaced due to wars and conflicts, natural disasters, famine and poverty, and those torn by emergencies.  

Mass disruptions and displacement can bring to several sources of stress for individuals, families and communities involved. Providing psychosocial support in educational, cultural, community, religious and health settings reduces vulnerabilities, and prevents their stagnation.  

As Guglielmo Schinina, Head of Mental health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) at IOM stated, “A  community-based approach needs to inform mental health and psychosocial support in emergency and displacement situations, since it helps in addressing the collective and individual psychosocial reactions to the  adversity, building  on the existing or pre-existing strengths of affected communities, re-establishing a sense of agency and avoiding a feeling of disempowerment.”  

In line with that philosophy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) yesterday (16/09) launched  its Manual on Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies and Displacement. The Manual is presented in an interactive online version, which includes hyperlinks to complementary resources accessible at this link: https://www.iom.int/mhpsed 

“The new manual is a step forward in IOM’s efforts to build the capacity of humanitarian actors and member states in addressing the psychosocial challenges of emergencies and displacement,” affirmed Jacqueline Weekers, Head of IOM’s Migration Health Division.  

The Manual is the fruit of two years’ labor as research, review and field testing, involving more than 100 professionals, practitioners, academics and humanitarian actors from IOM, other international organizations, NGOs, local initiatives and communities of practices.  

The main aim of the manual is to provide those responsible for MHPSS in emergencies with a reference document that can help them in the practical implementation of their activities with a community-based approach.  

Some of the activities aimed at strengthening the social fabric and helping people overcome their distress described in the manual include sociocultural, artistic, and educational programs and workshops, sport and play, rituals and celebrations, counselling and clinical and social support for those with severe mental disorders.  

The manual describes ways to integrate mental health and psychosocial support in other activities, like livelihood support, protection of vulnerable cases, and conflict transformation.       

About IOM MHPSS 

The IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. IOM has been active in psychosocial support for decades, by developing interventions, trainings and research projects in more than 70 countries worldwide. IOM MHPSS activities are supervised by a dedicated Mental Health, Psychosocial Response and Intercultural Communication Section. 

For more information please contact: Mental Health, Psychosocial Response and Intercultural Communication - Global, contactpss@iom.int 

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 17:47Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

Self-portrait elaborated by a Nigerian IDP and psychosocial worker, during a five-day workshop on autobiographical models through art, organized by IOM in Maiduguri, Nigeria. Photo: IOM/Rola Soulheil. 

 Art workshop with Psychosocial Mobile Teams at Gubio IDP camp, Maiduguri, Nigeria. Photo: IOM 2018. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: Press Room IOM

Survivors of Shipwreck off Cameroon Return to Burkina Faso

IOM - News - Tue, 09/17/2019 - 09:01

Ouagadougou – Fifty-nine Burkinabe migrants who survived a shipwreck off Kribi, Cameroon in late July, finally returned home last week (12/09). The migrants who flew out of Douala, Cameroon, were welcomed at the international airport in Ouagadougou by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Government of Burkina Faso with support from the European Union. 

The 59 Burkinabe were among 117 people, along with 32 Ghanaians and 26 Togolese, stranded in high seas after their boat ran out of fuel on 29-30 July, after departing from Cotonou, Benin. 

After their rescue, Cameroonian local and administrative authorities together with local communities provided support to the destitute migrants stranded and enabled their access to basic services. 

Following a request from the Honorary Consulate of Burkina Faso to IOM Cameroon, the stranded survivors who had no means to cover their return-related costs received voluntary return assistance. The shipwreck survivors from Togo and Burkina Faso also returned home on 12 September on a flight chartered by IOM under the Regional Direct Assistance Fund (RDAF) of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration.  

The RDAF established in 2019 by IOM is a flexible and timely facility to address urgent and unforeseen protection and assistance needs of migrants stranded along migration routes in West and Central Africa and who originate from within the region.  

“While the media tend to cover exclusively African migration to Europe, our data reveal that more than 70 per cent of migrants move within the West African region,” said Andreas De Boer, Programme Officer at IOM Burkina Faso. “These migrants face great vulnerability in the region. Return and reintegration assistance is essential to give them the possibility of starting over, and we commend the Government of Burkina Faso for its great commitment to addressing this issue,” he added.  

In this instance, RDAF support included the transportation of the Kribi shipwreck survivors and provision of their temporary accommodation in Cameroon, medical and food assistance, and assisted voluntary return to their countries of origin. Reintegration assistance as well as medical, social and psychosocial support will be provided to Burkinabe returnees, including the most vulnerable returnees such as minors who will be assisted by UNICEF and Action Sociale. 

The EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and implemented by IOM was launched in 2017 in 13 countries in West and Central Africa to assist migrants stranded along migration routes, including the Mediterranean routes. 

For more information, please contact Andreas De Boer at IOM Burkina Faso, Tel: +226 74 93 81 28, Email: adeboer@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 14:15Image: Region-Country: Burkina FasoThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationEUTFMigrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

59 survivors of a shipwreck were assisted to return to Burkina Faso. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: Press Room IOM

IOM’s African Capacity Building Centre Celebrates 10th Anniversary

IOM - News - Tue, 09/17/2019 - 09:01

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration’s African Capacity Building Centre for Migration Management (ACBC) celebrated its 10th Anniversary in Geneva last week (13/09). 

Attended by representatives from IOM’s African Member States, donors, partners and IOM colleagues, the occasion also served as a launch of one the ACBC’s latest initiatives, the Passport Examination Procedure Mobile Application (PEPM 2.0 App). The app will assist state immigration authorities in better managing travel document security particularly in remote border postings, thus contributing to increased cross-border and traveller facilitation, protection and security. 

Since autumn 2009, the ACBC is hosted by the United Republic of Tanzania within the premises of the Tanzanian Regional Immigration Training Academy (TRITA) in the city of Moshi, located at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. In his opening remarks, Maurice Ketenusa, Commander of TRITA, reiterated Tanzania’s continued strong support for the ACBC and his appreciation for the professional and tireless work of the Centre’s staff.  

The Centre contributes positively and practically to key policy and programming directions as set out by its Member States, the African Union (AU) (including the AU’s Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons), the various African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) such as ECOWAS, SADEC or the EAC, the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the 2018 Global Compact of Migration (GCM) or the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Traveller Identification Programme (TRIP). 

Since 2009, the initial thematic focus of the ACBC has been put on tailored, often quite technical trainings in the thematic field of immigration and border management. Over the last years this thematic focus has been broadened to include other key migration management areas such as migration and health (notably health at borders), migration and development (notably border management and development/trade), as well as labour migration, climate change and migration, or migrant protection and assistance.   

Nelson Goncalves, manager of the ACBC, presented the Centre’s achievements over the last 10 years: 241 trainings were carried out across Africa and 6,500 immigration officers from around the entire continent trained. The trainees include 40 certified ACBC trainers (following the concept of ‘training of trainers’). Trainings by the ACBC were and continue being regularly conducted in the major languages spoken of the continent, i.e., Arabic, English, French and Portuguese, as well as in Kiswahili, a major language spoken widely especially in Eastern Africa. 

Since its creation, the ACBC has further consistently focused in its work on supporting immigration officials with the responsible use of new technology. This includes a strong effort on supporting member states to fulfil their obligations as regards human rights and privacy/personal data protection. The new PEPM 2.0 App was developed with financial support from the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Italian Development Cooperation. It complements the well-established ACBC training manual and course Passport Examination Procedures Manual (PEPM) 2.0.    In his presentation, Deputy Director Riks from the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security underlined the need for international cooperation in the migration management field. 

In her contribution, Marietta Muwanga-Ssevume, IOM’s Chief Information Officer and Director of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) underlined the steadily increasing importance of advanced IT technology and systems to better meet the needs and growing demands in the field of migration and border management: “There is a great potential that the responsible use of new technology offers to better support migrants in a globalized world – IOM is strongly committed to further strengthen its efforts in this field,” she said.  

Dr. Qasim Sufi, Chief of Mission of IOM Tanzania underlined the Centre’s value, saying, “The ACBC is there to assist IOM’s African Member States through practical and technical trainings and support. Global developments especially in the technical field are gaining in speed and most countries around the world do need support to harness the benefits of such rapid development while eliminating or mitigating associated risks.” He added, “The ACBC should serve as a good example for other regions in the world.”  

Florian G. Forster, IOM’s Head of Immigration and Border Management highlighted the importance of practical, technical trainings provided by the Centre. “Such hands-on trainings for immigration officials from members states are really key for being able to effectively operationalize and rollout wider policy frameworks and achieve their objectives,” he said. 

For more information, please contact IOM ACBC, Nelson Goncalves, Tel: +255 688 700 090, Email: ngoncalves@iom.int, or Melissa Tui, Tel: +255 745 919 355, Email: mtui@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 14:10Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM’s African Capacity Building Centre celebrates its 10th anniversary. Photo: IOM   

Dr. Qasim Sufi, IOM Chief of Mission in Tanzania, where the ACBC is located. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: Press Room IOM

Job Fair in Côte d’Ivoire Promotes Reintegration of 350 Returned Migrants

IOM - News - Tue, 09/17/2019 - 09:00

Abidjan – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has assisted over 5,250 stranded Ivorians to voluntarily return to Côte d’Ivoire over the past three years, from countries such as Libya, Niger and Morocco. Despite the logistical difficulties, the journey home turned out to be the easy part. 

The returned migrants face the challenge of reintegrating themselves into their former communities.  They can face rejection, the stigma of unemployment and the shame of returning empty handed. 

To mitigate these challenges, more than 2,000 returning migrants have received reintegration assistance through trainings and income-generating activities through initiatives supported by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF). 

It is in this regard that last week, IOM hosted a job and training fair organized for returned migrants in Côte d’Ivoire. About 350 young men and women attended. 

The event targeted Ivorians who returned home between 2017 and 2019 under IOM’s Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) programme as part of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration.  

“Thanks to this fair, I realized that I had not been abandoned. I have chosen three reintegration projects that will facilitate my reintegration into society. I will do my best to have a better future in Côte d’Ivoire, instead of risking my life in the Mediterranean or in the desert. If ever I must go to Europe, I will use the legal channels, and I will go to visit and return to my country,” said Moussa, one of the young returned migrants who visited the fair. 

During the three-day job fair, 22 IOM partners presented participants with a wide range of available job opportunities covering various fields including construction, poultry and transport. The posts are being offered across Côte d’Ivoire, in the capital, Abidjan, as well as in Bouaké, Daloa, Man, Gagnoa, San-Pédro and Korhogo. 

Former beneficiaries of the assistance shared their experiences and advice. IOM also assisted some of the participants in designing a sustainable professional project tailored to their profile and aspirations. 

“We are happy to participate in this fair which gives these returned migrants a second chance for reintegration in their country of origin. It was an opportunity for us to showcase all our activities so that they can define their own future,” said Hyppolite Kakou, from the National Agency for Vocational Training (AGEFOP), an IOM partner. 

Based on the beneficiaries’ needs and skills, reintegration projects can be individual, collective (provided to several returned migrants as a group) or community-based, i.e., involving returned migrants together with community members.  

At the fair’s conclusion, all participants were encouraged to submit their professional goals for review and register with IOM’s partners. They were also able to participate in several side activities such as dialogues on female entrepreneurship and the challenges of reintegration. Participants also attended therapeutic/ creative workshops in theatre, slam and art therapy.  

“The participants expressed themselves freely in a judgement-free space. They need intensive follow-up, and some need to be listened to. Since their arrival, they wanted to discuss, express themselves, share their experiences and their journey. In art therapy, we stimulate a lot creativity and speaking,” said Souhad, an art therapist.  

This event was funded by the European Union under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration. 

IOM’s efforts were supported by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, represented at the job fair by several State structures, including the Directorate General for Ivorians Abroad (DGIE), Child Protection Directorate (DPE), Youth Employment Agency (AEJ), National Agency for Vocational Training (AGEFOP), and National Agency for Support to Rural Development (ANADER). These reintegration programmes are implemented jointly by IOM Côte d’Ivoire and its various partners, state structures, civil society organizations and private sector actors. 

For more information, please contact Lavinia Prati, IOM Côte d’Ivoire, Tel: +225 80 07 01 27, Email: lprati@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 14:05Image: Region-Country: Côte d'IvoireThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationEUTFDefault: Multimedia: 

Over 350 participants attended the first job fair for returned migrants in Côte d’Ivoire. Photo: IOM/Mohamed Diabate 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: Press Room IOM

IOM Strengthens Engagement of Diaspora Organizations in Disaster Response, Preparedness and Recovery

IOM - News - Tue, 09/17/2019 - 09:00

Washington, DC – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) last week (13-14/09) held training sessions for Bangladeshi, Haitian and Filipino diaspora organizations during which participants focused on safer shelter in disaster response, preparedness and recovery. 

The frequency and intensity of natural disasters force more people to flee their homes every day. Recent events like Hurricane Dorian earlier this month serve as a stark reminder of the need to rebuild more disaster-resilient shelters to help prevent or reduce displacement associated with natural hazards. 

In the wake of a crisis, only 15 to 20 per cent of shelter needs are typically met by the international community. Those affected are ultimately left to rebuild their homes, often relying on aid, money and volunteers from the diaspora. 

“The diaspora has proven in many countries to be some of the largest players in responses,” said Joseph Ashmore, IOM Shelters and Settlements Specialist. “Contributions through diaspora groups can be larger than the entire inter-agency response in some places.” 

The training is part of a larger project funded by the US Agency for International Development’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). Recognizing the critical role of the diaspora, the project also aims to inform the diaspora about existing coordination mechanisms in the field of disaster response and shelters and explore linkages with these systems. 

The Haitian Diaspora Emergency Response Unit (HDREU) is already an example of a more coordinated and effective disaster response, within the diaspora and between diaspora and other stakeholders. The coalition of more than 30 diaspora organizations is currently mobilizing resources to better support the needs of communities impacted by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.  

“[With] each disaster we should be getting better, not worse,” said Magalie Emile-Backer, co-founder of the Haiti Renewal Alliance, one of the lead organizations of the HDREU. “These trainings will empower us with more knowledge on how to build back safer to be able to train our communities and ensure that we mitigate the next one because we know it is coming.” 

Presenters for this workshop included representatives from IOM, OFDA, InterAction, World Bank, University of the Philippines Alumni Association of San Francisco, Haiti Renewal Alliance and UDION Foundation. 

Last year, trainings were held in Washington, San Francisco and Miami. Additional workshops will be held in New York, Boston and Houston in the coming months. 

For more information, please contact Liz Lizama at IOM Washington, Tel: +1 202 716 8820, Email: elizama@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 14:03Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Disaster Risk ReductionDefault: Multimedia: 

Luca Dall’Oglio, IOM Chief of Mission in Washington DC, welcomes attendees to the Build Back Safer training last week (13/09) in Washington. Photo: IOM/Liz Lizama 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: Press Room IOM

Child Immigration Detention is Not Only Wrong, It Is Ineffective

IOM - News - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 11:56

United Nations Network on Migration, 16th September 2019

➢ Today, the United Nations Network on Migration strongly reiterates its position that child immigration detention must be ended in every region of the world. Detention of children for immigration purposes - whether they are traveling alone or with their families – has been recognized as a child rights violation and can be highly damaging to their physical and psychological health and wellbeing. Detention of children based on their migratory status is thus never in their best interests. Community-based programmes, case management and other human rights-based alternatives have proven highly effective and all governments should work to replace immigration detention for children and families with appropriate reception and care arrangements.

➢ Studies consistently show that detention and family separation are traumatic experiences that have a profound negative impact on children’s health and long-term cognitive and physical development. This harm can occur even when the detention is of short duration, regardless of the conditions in which children are held, and even when children are detained with their families. Children in detention are at risk of suffering depression, anxiety, and psychosomatic problems such as insomnia and nightmares. Recent reports from around the world consistently and repeatedly illustrate how damaging detention is for children. The Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Committee on Migrant Workers also issued authoritative guidance in 2017 affirming that “children should never be detained for reasons related to their or their parents’ migration status and States should expeditiously and completely cease or eradicate the immigration detention of children”.

➢ Many governments that are implementing appropriate reception and care arrangements as alternatives to detention for children and families have found them to be more cost-effective and to result in low rates of absconding and high rates of compliance with status determination processes, including removal orders. Keeping families together over the course of immigration proceedings does not necessitate detention. This is a false choice. Detention is expensive and burdensome to administer, and there is no evidence that it deters individuals from migrating or claiming asylum.

➢ This is an important moment to recall the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, where Member States committed to “protect and respect the rights and best interests of the child at all times, regardless of migration status, by ensuring availability and accessibility of a viable range of alternatives to detention in non-custodial contexts, favouring community-based care arrangements that ensure access to education and healthcare and respect their right to family life and family unity, and by working to end the practice of child detention in the context of international migration.” In the context of asylum, the same commitment is made in the Global Compact on Refugees.
➢ The United Nations organizations that make up the Network are supporting governments in all regions to tackle these issues in a humane way, in accordance with international human rights and labour standards, to put in place viable non-custodial and community-based alternatives to immigration detention that are in line with international law, to keep families together, and to ensure that the best interests of every child always take precedence in immigration and asylum proceedings.

For media enquiries, please contact:
UNICEF
Christopher Tidey, Communications Specialist for Emergencies, UNICEF New York
+1 917 340 3017
ctidey@unicef.org

IOM
Leonard Doyle
Director, Media and Communication Division Spokesperson of the Director General
+41 22 717 95 89 ldoyle@iom.int or media@iom.int

OHCHR
Ravina Shamdasani
OHCHR Deputy Spokesperson
+41 22 917 9169 rshamdasani@ohchr.org

 

Language English Posted: Monday, September 16, 2019 - 11:52Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: UNDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: Press Room IOM

Appeal Launched for Humanitarian Response to Cyclone Devastation in Mozambique

IOM - News - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 09:38

Maputo – With Mozambique devastated by drought, flooding and Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in the past several months, humanitarian partners yesterday (12/09) launched the revised Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) requesting over USD 397 million to support affected populations.  

The HRP – which comes six months after Cyclone Idai made landfall and was shortly followed by Cyclone Kenneth – targets 2 million of the 2.5 million people who need life-saving assistance, to deal with challenges including food insecurity, inadequate shelter, lack of health services, poor infrastructure, and recovery from drought. If funded the appeal will cover identified priority needs through May 2020. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) portion of the HRP request is for USD 33.7 million to assist over 877,000 cyclone-affected individuals and expand IOM programming in Shelter, Health, Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM), Protection, and Coordination, all areas essential to the post-cyclone recovery process.  

More than 500,000 people are still living in houses that were severely damaged by the cyclones (over 280,000 homes were damaged or destroyed). This is especially concerning, as the onset of the rainy season is expected next month. 

As recorded by IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), the total number of displaced people in resettlement sites following the two cyclones is nearly 94,000 individuals – Idai an estimated 83,457 individuals and Kenneth, 10,536 individuals.  

“Following Cyclones Idai and Kenneth, critical humanitarian needs continue across the country – especially for health, shelter, and infrastructure repair. Many families remain living in tents and damaged homes that may not stand up to the rainy season, let alone the next cyclone season,” said IOM Mozambique Chief of Mission Katharina Schnoering.  

“Families who recently moved to resettlement sites need support to build stable shelters, access health and education services, and establish their livelihoods. Without funding, families will suffer ongoing exposure to a number of risks to their health and safety.”  

Edwina, a resident of a resettlement site in Sofala Province, lost her home and entire neighbourhood due to flooding in Nhamatanda district and cannot return. “As a widow and mother of four, I feel very vulnerable. I need a better house because I’m scared that my tent may fall in the coming days due to heavy rains.”  

She continued, “I also need materials to make and sell doughnuts at the market as I did before the cyclone. I need cake flour, cooking oil, sugar, yeast. This would really make me independent again.

Over 500,000 individuals have received various shelter and essential household items from IOM in Sofala, Manica and Cabo Delgado provinces and humanitarian partners. Additional shelter material is needed to repair houses and reinforce tents before the raining season; according to the HRP, 620,000 individuals need shelter and NFI support.  

For more information please contact:  

IOM: Sandra Black, Tel: +258 852 162 278, Email: sblack@iom.int  

Language English Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 - 15:40Image: Region-Country: MozambiqueThemes: Disaster Risk ReductionDefault: Multimedia: 

Tratara resettlement site in Cabo Delgado, hosting nearly 150 families who were displaced following Cyclone Kenneth. Site improvements are required to mitigate risks ahead of the next rainy and cyclone season.  

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: Press Room IOM

In Bahamas Recovery, IOM Takes Lead on Shelter Coordination

IOM - News - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 09:38

Nassau – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has taken the lead, alongside the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), to assist the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Renewal with shelter coordination and management.   

Through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Government has taken the responsibility of coordinating the emergency response from its Nassau-based National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC).  

Last week, an emergency support function (ESF) humanitarian coordination structure was developed and is made up of 13 ESFs.  Each of these have their own lead Government ministries and departments and are paired with UN agencies to implement activities.  

“IOM has been partnered directly with ESF-6, which deals with mass care and shelter and is led by officials of the Ministry of Social Services,” explained Vynliz Dailey, the IOM Communications Officer.  

Thousands of Bahamian residents displaced after Hurricane Dorian are being housed in gymnasiums, schools, churches and other emergency shelters while the Government and humanitarian partners move quickly to identify more durable, longer term housing solutions.  

Through almost daily meetings with government officials and other humanitarian agencies and partners, solutions to the gaps identified regarding non-food item (NFI) distribution, communication, shelter capacity and protection issues, among others, are being identified. By the end of this week, IOM expects to submit a list of recommendations to ESF-6 to address the matters at hand. 

“It’s going to take a lot of effort and coordination with many stakeholders to get the people into more suitable accommodations,” said IOM Team Leader, Jan-Willem Wegdam. “IOM has been given the responsibility to support those efforts and we are more than happy to assist. On the ground all the agencies are willing to collaborate with us and are dedicated to doing the work we have been tasked to do.”  

As of 10 September 2019, NEMA reported 2,043 people registered in shelters in New Providence alone, which includes many Haitian migrants. At that time a total of six shelters were in use. That number is expected to change as people continue to be evacuated from the affected islands to Nassau. An IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) expert based in Haiti has been deployed and will begin DTM assessments with multi-agency teams in the coming days.   

Meantime, with support from a local partner, IOM has distributed most of the 1,000 tarpaulins delivered to Marsh Harbour Port, Marsh Harbour – Abaco, on 10 September 2019.  Distributions were supervised by IOM’s Head of Community Stabilization Unit from Washington DC, Brian Kelly, stationed in Abaco, who is also leading the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination team in that area.  

For more information please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 7203 6536, Email: jgallo@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 - 15:35Image: Region-Country: BahamasThemes: ShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

On Tuesday (09/10) IOM, along with other agencies sat to tailor the DTM survey to the Bahamas emergency. Photo: IOM/Vynliz Dailey

IOM Team Leader, Jan-Willem Wegdam contributing to the daily partners meeting hosted by NEWA and the Government of Bahamas. Photo: IOM/Vynliz Dailey

IOM Team Leader, Jan-Willem Wegdam contributing to the daily partners meeting hosted by NEWA and the Government of Bahamas. Photo: IOM/Vynliz Dailey

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: Press Room IOM

IOM Returns 127 Stranded Migrants Safely to 15 Countries Across Africa, Asia  

IOM - News - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 09:38

Misrata, Libya – This week (10/09), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) assisted 127 stranded migrants – 103 men, 14 women and 10 children – to return to their homelands via a charter flight under IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return programme, or VHR. Many of them had already spent months, even years enduring difficult conditions in Libya.  

This flight, as well as others this year, were made possible thanks to the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration implemented by IOM. 

The migrants departed from Misrata and Tripoli making their way to 15 different countries of origin in either Africa or Asia. Due to the current conflict in Tripoli and the closure of Mitiga airport after being targeted by multiple airstrikes over the past few months, IOM coordinated with Libya’s Directorate for Combating Illegal Migration (DCIM), ensuring the migrants safely departed the Misrata Airport, east of Tripoli. Passengers flew to Istanbul, where they boarded continuing flights to their final destinations.  

“Providing stranded migrants wishing to return home with a safe and dignified way to do so is one of our main priorities, especially amid the escalation of the conflict in the capital, Tripoli,” said Ashraf Hassan, IOM Libya Operations Officer, who added: “This complex operation took real coordination between 15 IOM missions.” 

Indeed, these men, women and children set out for an array of destinations stretching in a chain reaching over 10,000 kms from Africa to South Asia. For that, IOM also coordinated with consular officials and other national authorities.  

Within Libya, amid an increasingly challenging security situation, IOM continues to provide safe passage for migrants stranded in the country and who wish to return home. So far in 2019, over 7,200 stranded migrants have left with IOM’s assistance. Returnees reached Tuesday’s charter from Misrata after three other movements by both land and air. Some arrived on a charter flight from Zwara. Others came by bus from Tripoli and surrounding areas.  

A young mother, Amina, said: “Today we get to see our family again. I plan to go back to school, finish my studies, and take care of my boy.” 

Prior to the migrants’ departure, IOM teams screened for vulnerability screenings and completed medical assessments to assure all passengers were fit for travel. 

For medical cases and unaccompanied minors, IOM provides operational escorts. Migrants received hot meals and refreshments prior to boarding, also clothing and hygiene kits. 

On Wednesday (11/09), IOM Libya continued to assist other migrants returning home by organizing an additional charter for 158 Nigerian migrants bound from the Misrata airport for Lagos. Migrants on that flight travelled from Tripoli to the airport, for which they received security escorted land transportation. 

For more information on IOM’s VHR programme, please access this link

For more information, please contact:  

In Geneva: Joel Millman, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int  or Safa Msehli, Tel: +410766133175, Email: smsehli@iom.int  

In Libya: Ashraf Hassan, Tel: +216 29 794707, Email: ashassan@iom.int  

Language English Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 - 15:30Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Returning migrants boarding the plane from Misrata, Libya. Photo: IOM/Moayad Zaghdani

IOM staff assisting migrants at the airport in Misrata, Libya. Photo: IOM/Juma Ben Hassan

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: Press Room IOM

Humanitarian Assistance Provided to Vulnerable Communities Affected by Floods in Niger 

IOM - News - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 09:38

Niamey – Every summer the West African nation of Niger endures torrential rains which can destroy hundreds of households and trigger cholera outbreaks, often leading to major human and material losses across the country.  

This year, in fact, more than 200,000 people are at risk of being displaced during the rainy season due to overflowing rivers and landslides. Close to 50,000 of these potential victims reside in Dosso, 45,000 in Niger’s capital city, Niamey, and 38,000 more in Maradi. 

These past two months alone, floods killed 45 people, injured 55 and left more than 66,000 displaced, most notably in the regions of Maradi, Agadez and Zinder. Authorities asked Niamey residents to take the necessary precautions to prepare for further damage after the Niger River overflowed and urged residents to leave the flood-prone areas. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and its partners are able to assist populations affected by natural disasters threatening Niger through their humanitarian emergency assistance.  

Together with UNICEF and Niger’s General Directorate of Civil Protection (DGPC), IOM this week has distributed over 500 non-food item (NFI) kits, including 250 tarpaulins, to households affected by floods in Dosso (285), Tillabéri (77) and Maradi (150).  

This assistance followed requests from the Ministry of Humanitarian Action and Disaster Management (MAHGC) in Niger, the Shelter and NFI Working Group urgently convened and assessed the risk levels, needs and costs, and responded quickly and appropriately.  

“It was about three in the morning when a neighbor woke us, telling us to get up and leave. People were being swept away by the floods,” recalled Issaka Amadou, one of the residents of the Kirkisoye neighborhood in Niamey. “The authorities eventually managed to contain the floods, but we had to temporarily move to the school nearby.” 

Along with houses, the heavy rains have affected various crops and hydro-agricultural developments along the banks of the Niger River where most of Niamey’s inhabitants reside. However, despite the warnings, many residents are reluctant to leave their homes. 

IOM has been active in emergency responses in Niger since 2013, providing shelter and NFI kits to vulnerable displaced communities. IOM Niger also facilitates, as co-lead together with the Ministry of Humanitarian Action and Disaster Management (MAHGC), the coordination of the Shelter and NFI Working Group.   

“No one should be forced to leave their home or live in constant fear of their home being destroyed,” said Barbara Rijks, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Niger. “Along with national authorities, we are committed to responding to this crisis in the most efficient manner and providing relief to vulnerable communities in need,” she added. 

For more information, please contact Monica Chiriac at IOM Niger, Tel: +227 8931 8764, Email: mchiriac@iom.int  

Language English Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 - 15:25Image: Region-Country: NigerThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

The floods in Niger have left more than 66,000 people displaced this rainy season. Photo: IOM/Daniel Kisito Kouawo

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: Press Room IOM

More than 240 Refugees Resettled from Egypt to Germany  

IOM - News - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 09:38

Berlin – Two hundred forty-six refugees arrived safely in Hannover, Germany on Wednesday (11/09) on a charter flight from Egypt with International Organization for Migration (IOM) support throughout the resettlement process.    

The resettled group comprised refugees from Syria, South Sudan, Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia who fled war, persecution and severe human rights violations. Among the group were 64 children and nine infants.  

“The people on board have already braved the worst and deserve a chance at a new and safe beginning,” said Monica Goracci, Chief of Mission of IOM Germany. 

“This resettlement movement has allowed them to travel safely and in the most organized and humane way possible,” she added. 

“We thank the Governments of Egypt and Germany for their solidarity. Resettlement assistance remains an underutilized yet powerful instrument for IOM to support refugees who do not have the option to stay in their country of asylum,” said Laurent De Boeck, Chief of Mission of IOM Egypt. 

During the resettlement procedure, IOM supports the receiving country, assists with visa document processing, conducts health assessments, provides pre-departure orientation courses, organizes their flights and escorts the refugees until their arrival in Germany.  

The complex process of resettlement involves the cooperation between various actors. In this case, IOM worked closely with the Federal German Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Caritas Germany.  

After their arrival in Germany on Wednesday, the refugees traveled onwards to Friedland in Lower-Saxony, where accommodation and integration courses are provided before they settle elsewhere in the country.  

So far in 2019, IOM has assisted more than 600 refugees to be resettled to Germany on behalf of the German government.  

For further information, please contact Sabine Lehmann at IOM Germany, Tel: +49 3027877817, Email: slehmann@iom.int  

Language English Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: ResettlementDefault: Multimedia: 

Relatives of resettled Syrian refugees and IOM Germany staff wait outside Hannover airport for the arrival of the charter flight. Photo: IOM/2019

Relatives of resettled Syrian refugees and IOM Germany staff wait outside Hannover airport for the arrival of the charter flight. Photo: IOM/2019

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: Press Room IOM