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IOM Lauds Adoption of Global Compact for Migration

IOM - News - Mar, 12/11/2018 - 09:32

Marrakech – On 10 December, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) hailed the adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, calling it an historic achievement by the international community.

“Migration is the great issue of our era,” said IOM’s Director General António Vitorino, and “the adoption of the Compact by an overwhelming majority of UN Member States should lead to a more balanced discourse, better policies and more widespread cooperation on migration.”

“Key components of the Compact are that states need well-managed migration and that no one state can achieve this on its own. Cooperation on migration at all levels is fundamental to addressing migration,” he added.

The road to the Global Compact began two years ago when the United Nations General Assembly addressed the issue of the large movements of refugees and migrants. This resulted in the adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants launching an intensive process of inclusive consultations and government-led negotiations leading to today’s adoption of the Global Compact.

There are nearly 260 million international migrants in the world and the Compact sets out a range of principles, commitments and understandings among Member States. These include considerations of human rights, humanitarian, economic, social, development, climate change and security issues affecting migrants, their countries of origin and transit as well as the communities that host them. 

The voluntary agreement reinforces nation state sovereignty on migration, while underscoring the human rights of migrants as well as the importance of cooperation on migration at all levels, be it local, national, regional or global with all stakeholders. The Compact is now expected to become a useful roadmap for states to more effectively manage migration.

“Today’s adoption is a first step, and a vitally important one, in ensuring that migration becomes less politically charged, more effectively managed and that vulnerable migrants are better protected from exploitation,” DG Vitorino added.

For more information please contact Leonard Doyle at IOM Headquarters, Tel: +41 79 285 7123, Email:  ldoyle@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 16:32Image: Region-Country: MoroccoThemes: Global Compact on MigrationDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Universal Health Coverage: IOM Committed to Ensuring Migrants are Included in Sustainable Development Goals Target

IOM - News - Mar, 12/11/2018 - 09:31

Geneva – On Universal Health Coverage Day (12/12) the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other global partners are promoting efforts to ensure Universal Health Coverage (UHC) indeed becomes a reality.

The theme of the day, ‘Unite for Universal Health Coverage: Now is the time for collective action,’ provides an opportunity for partners around the globe to engage in multi-sectoral dialogue and advocacy efforts each works towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); the actions outlined in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM); and the Global Action Plan to Promote the Health of Refugees and Migrants.

Target 3.8 of the SDGs calls on the global community to “achieve universal health coverage (UHC), including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health care services, and access to safe, effective, quality, and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all”; the GCM presents a significant opportunity to promote inter-sectoral partnerships and policies that enable migrants to be included in the global health discourse, in the spirit of leaving no one behind.

“Universal health coverage is receiving the necessary global attention, particularly during the United National General Assembly this past September, with Heads of State calling for action and firm commitments to achieve Target 3.8 of the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Jacqueline Weekers, IOM’s Director of Migration Health. “Universal Health Coverage will not be achieved if migrants are left out of the equation.”

IOM, in collaboration with member states, is promoting UHC through advocacy, research, policy and implementation of projects. Support was provided to the Government of Chile to develop the Public Health Policy for International Migrants in Chile; launched in October 2017, the policy is the first of its kind for Latin America and aims to respond to the health needs of international migrants in Chile in a comprehensive way, thus contributing to UHC. The policy ensures the right to health for all persons including citizens and foreign nationals; promotes a system that is migrant-sensitive; and addresses reduction in barriers to health service access.

Since May 2015, IOM has been implementing a regional project supporting the governments of Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen in migration management by focusing on promoting health and well-being for migrants in the five countries. Between May 2015 and January 2018, the project supported national and regional round table dialogues and provided direct assistance to 55,828 migrants both within and outside of detention centres across the five countries, notably through direct service provision, community health workers and Assisted Voluntary Return & Reintegration programmes.

Through these types of projects, IOM is promoting evidence-based and inclusive policies and programmes to ensure UHC does not leave out migrants, and promotes “health for all”, in alignment with the World Health Assembly (WHA) Resolutions 61.17 on the health of migrants and 70.15 on promoting the health of refugees and migrants, as well as the WHO Framework of guiding principles and priorities to promote the health of refugees and migrants. A high reliance on out-of-pocket health payments often results in catastrophic health spending, and migrants without access to health insurance may be particularly at risk.

In advance of the High-Level Meeting on UHC at the United Nations General Assembly in 2019, IOM has been involved in global, regional and national discussions on UHC. In November 2017 IOM joined the UHC2030 partnership and continues to work with partners to ensure that the health of migrants is explicitly addressed in national and global development strategies.

IOM participated in the 2017 Tokyo Declaration on Universal Health Coverage, which recognized the need to prioritize the most vulnerable members of the world’s population including migrants, as well as the 2018 ministerial meeting in Oman — which produced the Salalah Declaration expanding the goal of UHC to non-nationals and emphasizing the close relationship between UHC and health security, especially relating to refugees, migrants and internally displaced people.

Most recently, IOM underlined the proven economic benefits of providing primary health care to migrants during the Kazakhstan Global Conference on Primary Health Care: Towards Health for All on the 40th Anniversary of the Declaration of Alma Ata.

The realization of universal health coverage for migrants will require innovative policies, and sustainable financial mechanisms. IOM will continue to work with partners to champion initiatives that promote access to high quality health services for migrants to make UHC a reality.

For more information please contact IOM HQ:
Eliana Barragan, Tel: +41227179506, Email: ebarragan@iom.int
Vanessa Okoth-Obbo, Tel: +41227179366, Email: vokoth@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 16:31Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM focus group discussion on health in Kok Pae migrant community. Mae Sot, Thailand. Photo: IOM 2017/Benjamin Suomela

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Fifth Border Management & Identity Conference Opens in Thailand

IOM - News - Mar, 12/11/2018 - 09:30

Bangkok – Following yesterday’s adoption of the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) by 164 countries, border management specialists from around the world are today (11/12) gathering in Bangkok, Thailand, for the 5th Border Management & Identity Conference (BMIC) on Technical Cooperation and Capacity Building.

The three-day biennial event – the biggest of its kind in Asia – is hosted by IOM and the Asia Pacific Smart Card Association (APSCA), under the auspices of the Royal Thai Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and facilitated by Thailand’s Immigration Bureau. Its 2018 theme is Alternative Approaches to Border and Identity Management.

The conference aims to bring together government agencies, international organizations and practitioners involved in border and migration management from around the world to share best practices. Participants include representatives of governments, UN agencies and private sector organizations working in the field of migration, border management, identity management and civil registration.

In a welcome message read to nearly 400 delegates by IOM Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific Dr. Nenette Motus, IOM Director General Antonio Vitorino noted that effective border and identity management will play a key role in implementing the GCM. But he emphasized the need for governments to place human rights “front and centre” in their efforts to achieve safe, orderly and regular migration.

“We need to establish consensus and international protocols to manage and protect by robust laws, procedures and systems, all personal data collected during the migration management process. Equally important, while technology can often serve as an enabler, it must be incorporated into a layered and rights-based system, that also considers the contribution of human judgment,” he said.

“Governments must therefore ensure continuous training and capacity building for border officials, not only on the latest technological advances, but also to ensure a rights-based and human-centric approach. The most effective response is one that addresses the complex drivers of irregular and forced migration, including political instability, under-development and climate change,” he added.

Greg Pote, Chairman of APSCA, told delegates that BMIC has emerged as a major event in border and identity management since its inauguration in 2010. “In the room today, we have 61 government identity authorities from around the world, and delegates from 72 countries in total. For identity solutions providers, this is one of the world’s best opportunities to engage with governments that are designing, implementing and operating border and identity management schemes for citizens, residents and travellers,” he said.

For more information please contact Donato Colucci at the IOM Regional Office Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok. Tel: +66 2 342 9403, Email: dcolucci@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 16:30Image: Region-Country: ThailandThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Officials from APSCA, ICAO, IOM and Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs open the 5th BMIC. Photo: Ray Leyesa / IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Germany Enhances Support for Community Policing in Iraq

IOM - News - Mar, 12/11/2018 - 09:30

Baghdad – This week the German Federal Foreign Office bolstered IOM’s Community Policing (CP) programme in Iraq by providing an additional 1.7 million Euros, raising Germany’s total contributions to this important effort to 5.7 million Euros.

IOM’s CP programme aims to contribute to enhanced security and stability in Iraq, by facilitating dialogue between communities and law enforcement actors, through Community Policing Forums (CPF) in communities affected by conflict and displacement.

In the last three years 101 Community Policing Forums (CPFs) have been established across Iraq with the support of IOM. CPFs aim to resolve a variety of security concerns at the community level, including those related to housing, land and property (HLP) disputes, access to water and electricity, civil unrest, documentation for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees, child protection, human trafficking, sexual harassment and domestic violence.

The German Ambassador to Iraq, Dr. Cyrill Nunn, said, “Community Policing is an important strategy to bring together socially fragmented communities in Iraq to peacefully resolve security related problems. Germany supports Community Policing to build and strengthen mutual trust between citizens and law enforcement agencies, contributing to safe and stable communities - the building blocks of a stable Iraq.”

CPFs are facilitated by a CP officer from the local police department and by elected community members. IOM guides CPFs in the development of community safety plans which identify the most critical security and safety issues that can be addressed and tackled by the community and the police. 

Gerard Waite, IOM Chief of Mission in Iraq commented, “Issues are resolved mainly through identifying the correct entity to refer to, either law enforcement, public institutions, civil society organizations, or the community themselves.”

“The success of these forums can be seen through a variety of indicators, such as a decrease in crime, an increase in the level of cooperation from the community in solving security problems, and less use of force by police towards members of the community,” Waite adds.

Brigadier Khalid Falah Kadhim, head of Iraq CP Directorate within the Government of Iraq’s Ministry of Interior, testifies to the positive impact the CP model has had on local police structures at the community level: “The logistical and technical support provided by IOM to rebuild infrastructure and strengthen the capacity of community policing has played a fundamental role in peace building in communities, and we are thankful to the Government of Germany for providing this support.”

For more information please contact Sandra Black in IOM Iraq, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: sblack@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 16:29Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Community StabilizationDefault: Multimedia: 

A recent community policing forum in Dohuk, Iraq. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Challenges for Children on the Move Focus of Global Migration Film Festival Event in Belgium

IOM - News - Mar, 12/11/2018 - 09:29

Brussels – IOM’s Belgium and Luxembourg Office is organizing a film screening and debate in Brussels on International Migrants Day (IMD, 18/12). In line with the IMD 2018 theme “Migration with Dignity’, the focus of the event will be on children and migration.

The short film, Abu Adnan – Adnan’s Father, tells the story of Sayid, a refugee doctor from Syria who has just received his Danish residence permit. As he starts a new life in rural Denmark, with his son Adnan, Sayid faces the challenge of maintaining his son’s respect while trying to assimilate to a new country and learning a new language, while Adnan finds the process of adaptation significantly less challenging.

Laura Palatini, IOM Chief of Mission for Belgium and Luxembourg, underlined the importance of the Global Migration Film Festival: “This worldwide initiative allows using films as tools to challenge the negative portrayal and stereotypes about migrants, by bringing together a wide range of stakeholders to discuss key migration-related aspects such as fundamental rights, tolerance and inclusion.”

The debate that follows the film will discuss the human rights aspects of migration, focusing on the most vulnerable and marginalized people.

The film is very timely; this year marks the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Human rights are not some abstract concept — each one of us has a role to play in defending the dignity and rights to which all persons are entitled, no matter who they are or where they come from. It’s small acts that breathe life into the Universal Declaration, explained Birgit Van Hout, Director of the UN Human Rights Regional Office for Europe whose office will moderate the debate.

Panel members will include: Irina Todorova – IOM Regional Office’s Regional Thematic Specialist for Migrant Assistance; Katja Fournier, Coordinator of the Plateforme Mineurs en Exil; and a migrant girl living in Belgium with a foster family.

The Nawaris Trio (led by Hussein Rassim, an Iraqi refugee now settled in Belgium) will close the debate. The participants will further discuss the issues over refreshments enriched by Syrian flavours, from Take Home Chef, a new catering company launched by Abdell Baset, a well-known Syrian refugee chef in Belgium.

The event is organized in partnership with Cinema Vendôme and the UN Human Rights Office, and with the support of Fédération Wallonie Bruxelles, Centre du cinema et de l’audiovisuel and Europa Cinemas. It is a continuation of the awareness-raising event IOM will organize on 12 December at the Children’s Museum in Brussels.

Click here to register for this Global Migration Film Festival event.

For more information please contact Géraldine d’Hoop at IOM Belgium and Luxembourg, Tel: +32 2 287 74 12, Email: gdhoop@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 16:29Image: Region-Country: BelgiumThemes: Global Migration Film FestivalDefault: Multimedia: 

Hussein Rassim, preparing for his concert at the Global Migration Film Festival, Brussels. Photo: IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Trains Federal Judges in Brazil

IOM - News - Mar, 12/11/2018 - 09:28

Brasilia – As a surge of Venezuelans continues to flow across international borders, this month the International Organization for Migration (IOM) sponsored a training session entitled Migration Law: Improving the Capacity of the Federal Justice in the Context of the Venezuelan Flow to 30 Brazilian federal judges.

The training took place last week (5-7/12) at the Council of the Federal Justice (CJF) in Brasilia, with participants from five Brazilian federal jurisdictions, prioritizing those working in border areas and cities receiving relocated Venezuelans.

According to the most recent report from the Brazilian Federal Police, almost 200,000 Venezuelans crossed the Brazilian northern border since 2017. Authorities estimate that half of those remain in Brazil, triggering the need to implement a voluntary relocation programme to transfer beneficiaries to cities in other parts of the country.

IOM and the Brazil’s National Association of Federal Judges (AJUFE by its Portuguese acronym) signed an agreement to implement a project to improve judges’ technical capacity and expand migrants’ access to rights, with special attention paid to women and vulnerable migrants.

“In partnership with federal authorities IOM has provided nearly 20,000 Venezuelans with access to information to apply for resident permits in Brazil and support the relocation of other 3,000 Venezuelan nationals from Roraima to cities in other states,” said IOM Brazil Chief of Mission Stéphane Rostiaux. “Now we aim to help the justice system to improve its capacity to deal with legal issues arising from this migration flow,” he added.

The IOM training is the second activity to take place under this memorandum of understanding, and it was preceded by an online training course on introduction to migration law, delivered to 20 federal judges.

 “Judges need to better understand the Venezuelan flow in order to improve its institutional performance, assuring Venezuelans and the community’s rights,” emphasized AJUFE’s President, Judge Fernando Mendes. He explained that AJUFE implements ‘Citizenship Expeditions’ to bring justice-related services to vulnerable communities and that will soon promote an edition of this project in partnership with IOM to support the response in the Brazilian Northern border.

During the training, judges had the opportunity to interact with representatives of the many federal authorities leading the humanitarian response, including the Representative of the Office of the President Chief of Staff, Janira Borges; the Head of the Ministry of Justice Migration Department, André Furquim and the Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Migration Department, Rafael Pacheco.

Training modules included an introduction to international migration law, provided by IOM’s International Migration Law Officer, Anne Althaus, examining the main legal instruments available to Brazilian judges, and IOM’s Senior Regional Specialist on Migrants Assistance and Protection, Agueda Marín, addressing human trafficking and protections issues related to the Venezuelan flow.

Several discussion panels analyzed the challenges to the Justice System as seen by civil society organizations, the Office of the Federal Prosecutors, and the Office of the Federal Public Attorneys. The trainers list also included academics and a legislative analyst from the Senate House, providing participants with a broad view on the recent changes in the legal scenario introduced by the entering into force of Brazilian new migration law one year ago.

The training course is part of IOM’s Regional Action Plan, aiming to strengthen the regional response to flows from Venezuela, supporting the efforts that governments have initiated across the region. Also, the training is part of the IOM’s activities in line with the UN’s 2030 Agenda. The project is related to at least five of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Goal 1. No Poverty
  • Goal 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Goal 10. Reduced Inequalities
  • Goal 16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • Goal 17. Partnerships for the Goals

The Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration of the United States’ State Department provided financial support to make this activity possible.

For more information please contact Marcelo Torelly at IOM Brazil, Tel: +55 61 3038 9065, Email: mtorelly@iom.int or Vitória Souza, Tel: +55 61 3038 9065, Email: vsouza@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 16:28Image: Region-Country: BrazilThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Federal Judges are trained by IOM in Brazil. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

United Arab Emirates signs accord with IOM on orientation guidelines for migrant workers

IOM - News - Mar, 12/11/2018 - 09:28

Marrakesh – On 9 December, on the margin of the Side Events of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the Government of the United Arab Emirates represented by H.E. Nasser bin Thani Juma Al Hamli, UAE Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation and the International Organization for Migration represented by Mr. António Vitorino, IOM Director General, signed an agreement to implement the Project “Comprehensive Information and Orientation Programme (CIOP) Phase II Plus”.

CIOP is an innovative project that aims to strengthen the labour market integration and protection of migrant workers in Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD) Member States. Over the 18-month project, IOM will provide technical support through the development of tools and mechanisms to operationalize a management system for tailored and coordinated orientation services that caters to the needs of migrant workers in all 18 Asian and Gulf countries. DG Vitorino strongly endorsed this partnership, stating that “CIOP directly contributes to GCM Objective 16 – Empower migrants and societies to realize full inclusion and social cohesion – and is a prime example of how Regional Consultative Processes can promote innovative approaches and foster multi-stakeholder partnerships around specific policy issues.” DG Vitorino applauded the UAE for kickstarting the implementation of the GCM objectives even before its adoption.

 Commenting on the agreement to collaborate with the International Organization for Migration, H.E. Nasser bin Thani Juma Al Hamli, UAE Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said: “This agreement underscores our commitment to working closely with IOM on issues of migration governance. IOM brings institutional knowledge and experience to the management of temporary labour migration, and they play a major role in facilitating international cooperation to improve governance standards."

His Excellency added, “The agreement to cooperate on the development of new orientation programming will feed directly in to the innovative work that we have done to establish Tawjeeh orientation centres, providing information to newly arrived workers in the UAE. It is also directly aligned with our endorsement of the Global Compact for Migration, and in particular, objective three, on the provision of accurate and timely information.”

IOM and UAE have a long-standing partnership in areas that focus on migration governance, skills harmonization, ethical recruitment, and now expanding to orientation services.

For more information please contact Mohamed El Zarkani at IOM Bahrain, Tel: +973 351 66 215, Email: melzarkani@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 16:27Image: Region-Country: MoroccoThemes: Labour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Nasser bin Thani Juma Al Hamli, UAE Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation (left), and António Vitorino, IOM Director General.

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 110,833 in 2018; Deaths Reach 2,160

IOM - News - Mar, 12/11/2018 - 09:27

Geneva – IOM, the International Organization for Migration, reports that 110,833 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 9 December. This year is the fifth straight during which the arrival of irregular migrants and refugees has topped the 100,000 threshold – although 2018’s total is low compared to those recorded at this time in 2017 (165,536) and 2016 (354,395).

IOM Italy

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo on Monday noted that all seaborne irregular arrivals in the Mediterranean region remain lower – by almost 10,000 people – than arrivals last year at this time to Italy alone. In 2017 through this date, Italy recorded 117,394 irregular arrivals of sea-borne migrants and refugees (see chart below). 

Di Giacomo noted that official Ministry of Interior (Italy) figures indicate the 23,122 migrants and refugees arriving by sea to Italy this year represent a decline of 80.30 per cent from last year’s total in the same period. (Table 1)

IOM Rome also provided details this week of the top nationalities of migrants and refugees arriving by sea from North Africa through the end of November. Tunisians represent this year’s largest single arrival group, however at a volume significantly below 2017‘s total. Arrival numbers also are down for all the other large arrival groups, particularly those from West African countries.  One country, Nigeria, accounted for almost 80,000 irregular migrants traveling from Libya to Italy between the years of 2015 and 2017, an average of 26,000 per year. Nigerian arrivals this year to Italy on this route total just 1,250 through the end of November (See Table 4). 

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reported Monday the Mediterranean region continues to account for most of deaths recorded globally, with 2,160 migrant deaths and disappearances recorded in 2018.

However, MMP researchers insist any comparison between regions must take note of variations in data quality, and the caveat that data for some regions are highly incomplete.

Most recently, MMP reported six people drowned in the Western Mediterranean off Algeria’s coastline. On the night of 3 December, 11 Algerian youths boarded a small boat in the village of Azzefoun, east of Tizi Ouzou, with the intent of reaching the southern coast of Spain. Tragically, the boat capsized shortly after they set out. Only five people survived. The Algerian Coast Guard recovered the remains of three young men, while another three remain missing. The families of two of the deceased have already identified their remains at the hospital of Azzefoun: Z.K., 24 years old, who was from the village of Dellys, and M.M., 29 years old, from the village of El-Kelaâ, the older of three brothers.

The Missing Migrants Project team also has learned about a shipwreck occurring in early November off the eastern coast of Algeria, where boats depart from Annaba intending to cover a 350km stretch of sea to the Italian island of Sardinia. On 8 November, four Algerian young men and one woman boarded a boat, hopeful finding a better life in Italy. Their boat capsized and disappeared without a trace. There were no survivors.

Also in the Central Mediterranean: 12 people died and three are considered missing in a shipwreck off Misrata, Libya, on 3 December. Ten rescued survivors reported being stranded at sea for more than ten days, and were suffering from trauma, severe malnutrition and fuel burns. Four survivors in need of emergency medical care were transferred to a hospital in Tripoli, while the remaining six were moved to detention centres by Libyan authorities.

No further details regarding the country of origin, sex or age of the deceased have been made available. This is the first shipwreck recorded by the Missing Migrants Project team off the coast of Libya since early September. However, with fewer dedicated search-and-rescue operations in the waters off Libya, it is very likely that many deaths have gone unrecorded, and boats carrying migrants may have gone missing without a trace.


IOM Greece

IOM Greece’s Antigoni Avgeropoulou reported Monday that from 7/10 December to date, the  Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported at least seven incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos, Symi, Samos and the port of Alexandroupolis. The HCG rescued a total of 238 migrants and transferred them to those spots.

Those 238 – plus 51 others arriving in Leros, Ikaria, and elsewhere – bring to 30,384 the total number of irregular migrant sea arrivals to Greece so far this year. That surpasses the total (29,501) arriving by sea through all last year (see chart below). Additionally, over 15,000 irregular migrants have arrived this year in Greece by land. (See Table 8.b)

Missing Migrants Project

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded 3,395 people who have died or gone missing on migratory routes across the globe in 2018 (see chart below).

Beyond the Mediterranean, the MMP team also recorded the death of four people in Turkey’s north-western province of Edirne. The remains of three people, who apparently froze to death, were found separately in the villages of Serem, Akçadam and Adasarhanlı on 4 December. One day later, the remains of another man were found near Adasarhanlı.

In Southeast Asia, the deaths of two Myanmar nationals were recorded on 30 November, when the vehicle in which they were crossing into Thailand crashed near Prachuap Khiri Khan. Twelve others were injured in the accident.

In the Caribbean, the US Coast Guard rescued 21 migrants from a sinking boat off the island of Saona, Dominican Republic on 6 December. According to survivors’ testimonies, seven migrants remain missing.

Elsewhere in the Americas, several people who had left their homes to migrate north through Mexico lost their lives. On Saturday, 1 December US Border Patrol agents found the remains of a migrant on a ranch near Falfurrias, Texas. Those remains were transferred to the Webb County Office of the Medical Examiner to start an identification process.

Six people are known to have died trying to cross the Río Bravo in their efforts to reach Texas in December. On 2 December the body of a man was recovered near Brownsville. A day later (3 December), remains of two individuals were retrieved on both banks of the waterway: US Border Patrol agents recovered a body near Mission; on the Mexican side, civil protection authorities recovered the body of a young man near Reynosa, Tamaulipas.

US authorities also recovered one more body on 7 December near Laredo, while the remains of two other men were recovered by Mexican civil protection authorities on 8 December near Guerrero, Coahuila and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. On 5 December, a man drowned while crossing the All-American Canal near Calexico, California.

Additionally, a Guatemalan woman was shot by masked gunmen on 8 December, as she was travelling with a group of migrants towards the US in a truck used for transporting livestock. The shooting took place near the town of Juan Rodríguez Clara, in Mexico’s southern state of Veracruz.

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. (See Table 3)

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, click here. Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project.
See contacts here.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 16:27Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

‘Somos lo Mismo’ Solidarity Campaign for Refugees, Migrants Launched in Panama

IOM - News - Mar, 12/11/2018 - 09:26

Panama City – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) last week presented the #SomosLoMismo (We are the same) campaign, aiming to promote respect, solidarity, and empathy between Panamanians and foreigners.

Faced with the growing climate of tension in the public opinion at the regional and national level by the arrival of people from other countries, mainly from Venezuela, manifestations of intolerance, rejection, and stigmatization have been generated. For this reason, UNHCR and IOM in Panama presented the campaign last Saturday (8/12).

The campaign is composed of a series of videos and graphics that highlight how mobility humanizes us and is a growth opportunity for all the people involved in this process. The videos will be distributed through social networks with the hashtag #SomosLoMismo, and with the support of digital influencers who have joined the campaign.

"This is not my land, but here I made myself. Here I trained and trained my children,” said Carmen, a Colombian mother who is grateful to Panama and who shared her story at #SomosLoMismo.

"Panama has been and continues to be a place that welcomes refugees, migrants, and displaced persons. For many years, we have seen unparalleled solidarity and empathic actions by the Panamanian society," said Renee Cuijpers, Deputy Regional Representative of UNHCR in Panama.

 "We want to make a call to recognize that everyone, regardless of their nationality, wants to contribute to this country that has continuously opened the doors to those who need it the most," said Cuijpers.

"Panama has historically been a host country for those who seek to rebuild their lives. With this campaign we seek to reach the essence of what has characterized this great country that is known as the Bridge of the World, Heart of the Universe, "said Santiago Paz, IOM's Chief of Mission in Panama.

In Panama there are more than 10,000 refugees and applicants for refugee status. For the most part, refugees are from the Latin American continent, mainly from Colombia, although recently there has been an increase in applicants from Venezuelan, Salvadoran and Nicaraguan nationalities. According to numbers from the National Institute of Statistics and Census of Panama, there are approximately 422,000 migrants mostly from Colombia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.

IOM's contribution to the campaign was possible thanks to funds provided by the US State Department Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).

For more information please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 2212-5352, Email: jgallo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 16:25Image: Region-Country: PanamaThemes: Refugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM and UNODC Sign Agreement with the Government of Jordan to Upgrade al-Karamah Border Crossing Point

IOM - News - Mar, 12/11/2018 - 09:25

Amman – In partnership with the Government of Jordan, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) signed an official partnership yesterday (10/12) to upgrade the al-Karamah border crossing point between Iraq and Jordan. The project, funded by the European Union Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace (EU IcSP), also contributes to the stability and economic recovery in the region.

“Iraq has always been a key economic partner for Jordan and a significant market for Jordanian exports. The closure of al-Karamah border point over the past years has had a significant negative impact on Jordan’s manufacturing sector and on the Jordanian economy in general. The government is working tirelessly to restore the economic ties with this important country for the benefit of the two sides, and we hope that the rehabilitation of al-Karamah will constitute another building block in this effort,” said Dr Maria Kawar, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation.

Al-Karamah is the only official border crossing point between Iraq and Jordan. Closed in the summer of 2015, it reopened in August 2017 raising the prospect of an improved economy among traders and consumers. Long-lasting crises in Syria and Iraq forced the closure of the land borders with both neighbors, namely the direct route between the ports of Aqaba, on the Red Sea, and Basra, on the Arabian Gulf. 

Before the closure of the borders, Iraq was one of the main trade partners of Jordan. In 2013, 178,573 commercial trucks used al-Karamah to enter Iraq from Jordan, and 173,788 entered Jordan from Iraq. Border closures considerably increased the price of imports and exports.

"Border crossing points facilitate trade and exchange between people and communities. This EU-funded project will share the EU approach on integrated border management and adapt it to the situation at the Jordan/Iraq border with a view to facilitate bilateral trade and the movement of people,” said Mr Andrea Matteo Fontana, European Union Ambassador to Jordan.

The project will allow for the construction of a joint building for all departments operating at al-Karamah that will ease procedures and shorten the waiting time for passengers, allowing authorities to process a higher number of passengers per day.

The security of the passengers and the Kingdom will continue to be at the centre of the operation, with enhanced trainings on document forgery detection and other techniques related to border management.

Communities at both sides of the border will benefit from the improved border crossing point.

“I am from al-Anbar and I study pharmacy in Amman. I used to pay around 200 dollars to fly to Baghdad, and then I had to take a bus to al-Anbar from the capital. With the border post re-opened, I save money and time, and I can come home more often,” one young student told IOM staff.

“Communities in remote border regions need additional support to take advantage of the opportunities and overcome the challenges associated to a border context. The project will contribute to revitalize the economy of Mafraq and al-Anbar regions that used to rely on the livelihoods directly or indirectly created by the movements through the border post, before its closure,” said Enrico Ponziani, Chief of Mission of IOM Jordan.

The project will also improve cargo control procedures to secure and facilitate trade with the extension of the UNODC/World Customs Organization Container Control Programme at the al-Karamah border crossing point, and the establishment of a Border Control Unit.

“UNODC’s contribution to this project is two-pronged. Firstly, it aims at further securing the Al Karamah-Turaibil border crossing by strengthening the capacity of Jordanian and Iraqi law enforcement agencies to prevent trafficking of illicit goods. Secondly, it serves to facilitate trade across the border by strengthening cooperation with the private sector and streamlining cargo clearance and control processes”, said Ms. Cristina Albertin, Regional Representative of UNODC.

For further information, please contact: Laura Sisniega (Communications Officer of IOM in Amman), lsisniegacrespo@iom.int; Gonçalo Guedes (Communication, Visibility and Culture Coordinator), Goncalo.GUEDES@eeas.europa.eu

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 16:22Image: Region-Country: JordanThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Chief of Mission, EU Ambassador and Minister of MoPIC during the signature. Photo: IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM lauds adoption of Global Compact for Migration

IOM - News - Lun, 12/10/2018 - 20:59

Marrakesh, Morocco – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) today hailed the adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, calling it an historic achievement by the international community.

“Migration is the great issue of our era,” said IOM’s Director General António Vitorino and “the adoption of the Compact by an overwhelming majority of UN Member States should lead to a more balanced discourse, better policies and more widespread cooperation on migration.”

“Key components of the Compact are that states need well-managed migration and that no one state can achieve this on its own. Cooperation on migration at all levels is fundamental to addressing migration,” he added.

The road to the Global Compact began two years ago when the United Nations General Assembly addressed the issue of the large movements of refugees and migrants. That resulted in the adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants launching an intensive process of inclusive consultations and government-led negotiations leading to today’s adoption of the Global Compact.

There are nearly 260 million international migrants in the world and the Compact sets out a range of principles, commitments and understandings among Member States. These include considerations of human rights, humanitarian, economic, social, development, climate change, border management and security issues affecting migrants, their countries of origin and transit as well as the communities that host them.  

The voluntary framework reinforces nation state sovereignty on migration, while underscoring the human rights of migrants as well as the importance of cooperation on migration at all levels, be it local, national, regional or global with all stakeholders. 

“Today’s adoption is a first step, and a vitally important one, in ensuring that migration becomes less politically charged, more-effectively managed and that vulnerable migrants are better protected from exploitation,” Vitorino added.

For further information please contact IOM Spokesperson Leonard Doyle Tel. +41792857123 ldoyle@iom.int

Language English Posted: Monday, December 10, 2018 - 20:57Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: UNDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Provides Urgent Accommodation for Over 2,500 Vulnerable Migrants, Refugees Transferred from Greek Islands

IOM - News - Ven, 12/07/2018 - 06:23

Athens – IOM (UN Migration) is providing temporary shelter and protection services to 2,518 vulnerable migrants and refugees who were transferred from the North-eastern Aegean islands to hotels on the Greek mainland.

Between 29 October and 3 December, an EU-backed action allowed IOM to provide safe accommodation and tailored services to the asylum seekers – including 1,086 women and 818 children – transferred to the mainland from unsuitable conditions on the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Kos and Leros. Under the government’s island decongestion plan priority is given to the transportation and accommodation of families with underage children, pregnant women, single parents and individuals with physical and mental trauma.

“Through the ‘FILOXENIA’ action, IOM is aiming to alleviate the suffering of vulnerable migrants and refugees by providing dignified living conditions for those currently living in deplorable conditions in the Reception and Identification Centres on the islands,” said Gianluca Rocco, IOM Greece Chief of Mission. 

“We have been supporting the Greek government in the decongestion of the islands since last summer, and with European Commission support, our goal is to urgently create 6,000 temporary accommodation places on the Greek mainland.”

The majority of the vulnerable asylum seekers – 520 individuals – are housed at a facility in Porto Heli, in Central-eastern Peloponnese. In the Korinthos and Marathon areas, 417 and 386 beneficiaries respectively are hosted in hotels. Most of them are from Syria (711), Iraq (684), Afghanistan (380), Somalia (97) and Palestine (79).

IOM currently operates in 11 hotels throughout Greece with dedicated facility coordinators, psychologists, social workers, legal counsellors and interpreters available to assist the 493 families and 532 singles.

The EU-supported project Temporary Shelter and Protection for the Most Vulnerable Migrants in Greece is funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union, directly managed by the European Commission’s Directorate General Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission (DG HOME).

For more information please contact Christine Nikolaidou at IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 248), Email: cnikolaidou@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, December 7, 2018 - 13:23Image: Region-Country: GreeceThemes: Refugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Some of the vulnerable migrants and refugees being transferred from the north-eastern Aegean islands to hotels on the Greek mainland. Photo: IOM

Some of the vulnerable migrants and refugees being transferred from the north-eastern Aegean islands to hotels on the Greek mainland. Photo: IOM

IOM providing transport and accommodation to vulnerable beneficiaries arriving from to islands to the mainland. Photo: IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Horn of Africa, Gulf Countries Affirm Dignity, Human Rights of Migrants at Conference in Djibouti

IOM - News - Ven, 12/07/2018 - 06:23

Djibouti City – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) co-hosted a conference of seven nations in Djibouti this week to strengthen the humanitarian response to migrants in the Horn of Africa, Yemen and Gulf countries on the eve of UN-sponsored peace talks between warring factions in Yemen.

The Drawing on Peace Dividends in the Horn of Africa to Ensure Urgent Enhancements in the Management of Migratory Flows to Yemen and the Gulf Countries conference was organized Wednesday in partnership with the Government of Djibouti and the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre.

The conference encouraged stronger cooperation between governments and partners in the protection of and humanitarian response to migrants travelling through the Horn of Africa to Gulf countries, particularly Yemen.

The day-long event preceded the commencement of peace talks on Thursday in Sweden aimed at ending the civil war in Yemen that began nearly four years ago.

On Tuesday, IOM reported that nearly 150,000 people have crossed the Gulf of Aden to reach Yemen, one of the most traversed and youthful maritime routes in the world, with children constituting 20 per cent of Yemen’s migrant population.

Delegates from seven countries (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Egypt, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen and Somalia) offered valuable contributions to discussions on the challenges facing their countries in protecting and responding to migration.

Opening the dialogue, chairman of the meeting Hassan Omar Mohammad Bourhan, Djibouti’s Minister of Interior, urged countries in the two regions to “put in place local policies to ensure the protection and respect of the human rights of migrants, especially for the large number of unaccompanied minors in need of protection and special assistance”.

Similarly, in prepared video remarks, IOM’s Director General António Vitorino said, “You have come together to find concrete ways to protect all those who cross your borders, regardless of their migratory status or nationality. Safe and legal pathways for migration will ultimately prove beneficial to all.”

During the meeting, IOM Regional Directors and Chiefs of Mission outlined the complex issues facing migrants and their missions, including: protection programming and assistance for migrants; sustainable reintegration of returnees; health interventions and contingency planning; long-term solutions such as legal pathways and, awareness-raising campaigns and migration management.  

Interventions were also made by the European Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, UNICEF, the UN Refugee Agency, and the UN Development Programme on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator.

In the final session, delegates and humanitarian actors agreed to pursue key practical solutions to address the humanitarian needs of migrants by:

  • enhancing safe, dignified and voluntary return and sustainable reintegration;
  • ensuring humanitarian access through the respect of humanitarian law;
  • holding smugglers and human traffickers accountable for abuses inflicted on migrants;
  • investing in long-term development and awareness-raising initiatives to address root causes of irregular migration;
  • providing migrant health interventions and enacting water, sanitation and hygiene measures to prevent and address outbreaks; and
  • continuing to exchange information and best practices on migration management, among others.

These and other priority actions are also highlighted in the Regional Migrant Response Plan for the Horn of Africa and Yemen, a strategy led by IOM and other partners to address humanitarian and development needs tailored to this migration corridor.

DG Vitorino reminded the delegates, “IOM remains committed to supporting your efforts to respect, protect and fulfil human rights. We will work with you to continue to facilitate voluntary humanitarian returns for stranded migrants; assist those in destitute circumstances; prevent and treat their health needs and provide dignified and sustainable opportunities for migrants who return home.”

He thanked the governments of Denmark, the European Union, Germany, Japan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and many others who support IOM’s humanitarian response to migrants in Yemen and the Regional Response Plan.

For more information, please contact Angela Wells at IOM Headquarters in Geneva, Tel: +41 7940 35365, Email: awells@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, December 7, 2018 - 13:22Image: Region-Country: DjiboutiThemes: Migrants RightsDefault: Multimedia: 

Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Director of Operations and Emergencies, led discussions at the conference on Wednesday (05/12). Photo: IOM/Angela Wells

Carmela Godeau, IOM Regional Director of Middle East and North Africa, moderated the panel Sustainable Reintegration of Migrants and Addressing Drivers. Photo: IOM/Leonard Doyle 

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Curtains Open Around the World for Week One of the Global Migration Film Festival

IOM - News - Ven, 12/07/2018 - 06:22

Geneva – The first week of IOM’s Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) underlined its international appeal.

Screenings of the 42 selected migration-themed films (from over 784 submissions) were held across the globe, from the Dominican Republic to Rwanda, from Romania to Indonesia.

By the time the festival wraps up with a gala event in Cairo on International Migrants Day, on 18 December, at least 424 screenings will have been held in nearly 150 cities.

Here’s a 25,300km-long journey covering some highlights of what has happened so far and what’s to come.

Moscow’s Dozen: 12 Migration Films to be Screened in Russian Capital

Moscow – IOM and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) have teamed up to screen 12 GMFF offerings between 11 and 18 December. The Festival coincides with the 10th international Migration Bridges in Eurasia forum.

The opening ceremony will take place on 11 December at MGIMO University with the screening of Donald Trump’s Wall, a film by Guillermo Galdos about 12-year-old migrant Fatima and her sister who are on their way to join their mother in the United States.

During the week, IOM will screen 12 films that touch upon different sides of migration including A Walk on the Tight Rope, a German documentary that offers a remarkable insight into the asylum application process and, Bushfallers – A Journey of Chasing Dreams, in which four young filmmakers embark on a journey to discover why Africans choose to migrate to Europe.

The complete festival agenda for Moscow can be found here: http://globalmigrationfilmfestivalagenda.com/russian-federation/

“Films about migrants are films about life; they give society an idea about migrants as people, not as a threat. Some people think that migration is something abstract and dangerous for society, and films destroy these stereotypes – they show the life of migrants as ordinary people,” said Sergey Ryazantsev, Head of the Demography and Migration Department at MGIMO University, and a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

IOM Moscow’s 19 screenings places it among the top 10 most active IOM missions.

“The Global Migration Film Festival, launched in 2016, has been instrumental in conveying the message on the realities of migration, its challenges and opportunities,” noted Abdusattor Esoev, IOM Moscow Chief of Mission. “I am very thankful for the support of our partner, the Moscow State Institute for International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation, in jointly organizing this year’s Film Festival in Russia.”

For more information, please contact Abdusattor Esoev at IOM Moscow, Tel: +7 905 792 69 10, Email: aesoev@iom.int

Human Trafficking on Kenyan Coast under Spotlight during Film Festival

Lamu – Tourism is a major source of income in Kenya’s coastal region but is also a key contributor to the trafficking of women and girls due to their socio-economic status. The IOM Kenya Country Office held film screenings to raise awareness of human trafficking and gender-based violence, on 28-29 November on Lamu Island — part of the Lamu Archipelago of Kenya.

A total of 102 participants (51 men and 51 women) attended the screenings, held during the Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF).

The screenings and ensuing discussions took place at the same time as the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign which galvanizes action to end violence against women and girls. As part of this year’s campaign, UN agencies in Kenya, including IOM, reaffirmed their commitment to contribute to creating a safe working environment.

These activities were supported by the Government of Japan as well as the Better Migration Management (BMM) programme which aims to improve migration management in the region, and in particular to address the trafficking and smuggling of migrants within and from the Horn of Africa.

The BMM Programme is a regional, multi-year and multi-partner programme funded by the EU Trust Fund for Africa and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), coordinated by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

IOM is one of the main implementing partners alongside the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, GIZ, Expertise France, the Italian Department of Public Security, CIVIPOL and the British Council. The BMM also covers Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda and coordinates closely with the EU Delegation South Sudan.

For more information please contact Etsuko Inoue at IOM Nairobi, Tel: +254204221000, Email: einoue@iom.int

GMFF in Buenos Aires Opens with Award-Winning Film

Buenos Aires – The GMFF opened Monday in Buenos Aires with a screening of The Kitchen of Las Patronas at the Alliance Française. The feature, directed by Mexican filmmaker Javier García, was awarded the Iber-rutas Prize for the best Hispano-American film.

The Iber-rutas Programme for Strengthening Rights and Intercultural Routes in Ibero-American Migration is a programme of the Ibero-American General Secretariat (Secretaría General Iberamericana, SEGIB in Spanish).

The Kitchen of Las Patronas won the award because it directly showcases the theme of migrant populations on the move. The film presents the infamous journeys made aboard the train known as “The Beast”, along a route through Mexico, where some of the region’s most vulnerable migrants perch perilously on top of freight carriages for days.

The audience was welcomed by Marina Mantecón Fumado International Cooperation Director at the State Secretariat for Culture, IOM Argentina Head of Office Gabriela Fernández, and Nathalie Lacoste Yebra, Director General of the Alliance Française in Buenos Aires.

“Migration links peoples, cultures; it enriches and widens [people’s] horizons,” said Mrs Mantecón Fumado. “It calls for an effort, particularly nowadays, in order to work on tolerance, pluralism, and respect for cultural diversity.”

“The Festival allows us to reach new audiences about migration matters. It is indeed important to raise awareness and disseminate a message of solidarity and empathy towards migrants through the films,” added IOM Argentina Head of Office Gabriela Fernández.

Director Javier García thanked IOM and the State Secretary for Culture: “We are proud, first of all on behalf of the women who have led us here,” he said. “We are grateful for the opportunity to continue spreading the word about their work, which is very important in connection with the issues of migration, human rights, and women’s empowerment.” (Watch the interview in Spanish here)

The Festival Agenda for Argentina is available here: http://globalmigrationfilmfestivalagenda.com/argentina/

For more information please contact Débora Taicz at IOM Argentina, Tel: +54 11 48151035, Email: dtaicz@iom.int

World Premiere of One Way Ticket Launches GMFF in Washington DC

Washington DC – IOM hosted the world premiere of One Way Ticket during the Global Migration Film Festival last week (29/11) at Landmark E Street Cinema in Washington, DC.

The feature film by Madness Films and Echo Studio tells the story of two refugees, Jean-Pierre Ntegyeye and Isaiah Bahati. Forced to flee the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the two spent nearly 20 years in a refugee camp in Uganda. At the start of the film Ntegyeye, his wife, mother and six children, along with Bahati, say farewell to the life they built in the refugee camp.

“As you will see in the film, it can be a daunting experience for displaced persons to begin a new life in another country,” IOM Chief of Mission in Washington Luca Dall’Oglio told the audience before introducing the film. “Migrants, regardless of migration status, are entitled to have their human rights protected.”

Following the premiere Ntegyeye and Bahati, who were present for the screening, continued the dialogue in a panel discussion along with film director Gregoire Gosset, producer Vanessa Fourgeaud and IOM JFK Airport Operations Supervisor Omar Nur.

“When the violence broke out in my country, I was already a man,” Ntegyeye told the audience. “I was a teacher at one of the schools. We had to leave immediately to avoid being killed.”

Films can serve as an educational tool to influence perceptions and bring attention to particular social issues – in this case the challenges and triumphs of forced migration. Producer Vanessa Fourgeaud expressed hope that the film could raise awareness and promote deeper empathy for persons fleeing conflict.

“I would hope that people becoming more familiar with these types of stories would understand better who these men and women are and why they had to leave their countries,” she said during an interview. “They have no hope of ever returning home.”

Moving people to safety to start a new life has been a core function of IOM since its establishment in 1951 to assist with the resettlement of Europeans displaced by World War II. For staff members like Omar Nur, this particular work is a rewarding opportunity to welcome refugees in the same way he was received at New York’s JFK Airport nearly 40 years ago.

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


Language English Posted: Friday, December 7, 2018 - 13:22Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Global Migration Film FestivalDefault: Multimedia: 

The Global Migration Film Festival screening in Lamu, Kenya. Photo: IOM 

The Kitchen of Las Patronas received the Iber-rutas award. Photo: IOM 

Refugees Isaiah Bahati and Jean-Pierre Ntegyeye are featured in the film One Way Ticket. In this scene, the two reunite for the first time since arriving in the U.S. from a Ugandan refugee camp.

The GMFF provides a unique opportunity for audiences to join the ongoing discussion surrounding migration. Featured here are panellists from left to right: Omar Nur, IOM JFK Airport Operations Supervisor; Vanessa Fourgeaud, film producer; Isaiah Bahati, film character; Gregoire Gosset, director; Jean-Pierre Ntegyeye, film character. Photo: Surafel Shiferaw 

More than 100 people attended the Global Migration Film Festival on 29 November at Landmark E Street Cinema in Washington, D.C. Photo: Surafel Shiferaw 

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Presents Second Displacement Tracking Matrix Results of Venezuelans in Ecuador

IOM - News - Ven, 12/07/2018 - 06:18

Quito – During the months of August and September, IOM Ecuador implemented the second round of the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) in Ecuador to identify the main characteristics and needs of refugees and migrants from Venezuela.

This second round was carried out through 1,953 surveys conducted in six places: Huaquillas on the southern border with Peru; Rumichaca and San Miguel on the northern borders with Colombia; and Quito, Manta and Guayaquil – main cities with a high affluence of Venezuelans.

All the people surveyed were of legal age. According to the study, the surveyed Venezuelan population is mainly composed of young and single individuals. Among them, 88 per cent were between 18 and 40 years of age. Around 74.6 per cent declared that they were unmarried, and only 24 per cent of Venezuelans mentioned being married or in a free union.

Of the Venezuelans surveyed, 59.5 per cent mentioned that they had finished high school and 34.3 per cent had completed university or some type of technical career education.

Some data on the border crossing reveals that 97 per cent of survey respondents have identity documents and 69.1 per cent used their passports to enter Ecuador. Only 9.2 per cent of Venezuelans surveyed declared having arrived in Ecuador through an informal crossing point.

Regarding living conditions, 54 per cent of respondents said that their sanitation conditions had improved in Ecuador in comparison to the situation in the country of origin. Some 22 per cent of Venezuelans mentioned not having enough money to buy food on the day after the survey; and 98 per cent expressed suffering discrimination related to their nationality.

Among the people who received a job offer in Ecuador, on average 73.3 per cent did so before leaving Venezuela or during the trip. Around 88.7 per cent of those with formal or informal employment mentioned earning less than a basic salary.

This analysis found that some of the greatest protection needs of this population are information and support for obtaining income, resources, and employment.

"The DTM highlights the main characteristics and needs of the Venezuelan population that arrives to Ecuador,” said IOM Ecuador Chief of Mission Manuel Hoff.  “The information provided by the DTM aims to strengthen the humanitarian response and to guide the public policy of human mobility in relation to the Venezuelan nationals."

Download the report

This activity was financed by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) of the United States Department of State, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), and with the technical support of World Vision.

For more information please contact Carolina Celi at IOM Ecuador, Tel: + (593) 99 358 6981, Email: cceli@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, December 7, 2018 - 13:17Image: Region-Country: VenezuelaThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Launches Training Series for Private Sector Partners in Brazil

IOM - News - Ven, 12/07/2018 - 06:17

Brasília – A series of workshops to support private sector companies in the implementation of policies focused on vulnerable migrants was launched by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Brazil.

The first training took place on Tuesday at the UN House in São Paulo, in partnership with the UN Global Compact Network in Brazil.

The workshop series is part of a project funded by the IOM Development Fund (IDF), with two main objectives: Improving legal assistance to migrants in Brazil, in partnership with the Office of the Federal Public Defendant (DPU, in Portuguese) and, promoting migrants’ early labour insertion in partnership with private partners. The training sessions are important for guiding partners and private companies to reassess existing policies and develop new initiatives to support international migrants’ insertion in the Brazilian labour market, thus building a cooperative system.

During the first semester of 2018, IOM and the UN Global Compact Network in Brazil interviewed 79 companies regarding their policies concerning international migrants. The outcome of this research (available here) led to the development of three training modules.

Module 1 works on sensitization regarding international migration, while Module 2 focuses on corporate human resource processes and how they can be redesigned to support migrants’ insertion and integration. Module 3 explores how social responsibility policies can improve a company’s performance and widely contribute to society as a whole.

“The double approach of this IDF project, focusing both on migrants’ legal protection and early insertion in the labour market, impacts the society’s reality deeply by targeting two of the migrant community’s main problems in a coordinated way,” said IOM Brazil Chief of Mission Stéphane Rostiaux.

The workshops are part of the IOM’s activities in line with the UN’s 2030 Agenda. The project is related to four of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Goal 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Goal 10. Reduced Inequalities
  • Goal 17. Partnerships for the Goals

Between now and February 2019, IOM will deliver five trainings in partnership with Integra Diversidade and with the support of multiple local actors. The next training will take place in Boa Vista, Roraima – the main point of entry for Venezuelans coming to Brazil.

For more information, please contact Marcelo Torelly, IOM Brazil, Tel. + (55) 61 3038 9065, Email: mtorelly@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, December 7, 2018 - 13:16Image: Region-Country: BrazilThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Supports Governments of Burundi, D.R. Congo in Strengthening Health and Border Management

IOM - News - Ven, 12/07/2018 - 06:16

Bujumbura – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) conducted a joint training last week (26 November – 1 December) for border officials from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The training, held in the capital Bujumbura, aimed to strengthen the capacity of border officials to enhance public health preparedness and response at points of entry in both countries.

Participants included representatives drawn from various departments including health, immigration, border police, customs and quarantine services, working at the Gatumba/Kamvivira border or providing support in times of need.

The training, supported by the IOM Development Fund, is part of an 18-month project which aims to address cross-border mobility and public health implications, through promotion of effective public health measures in humanitarian border management.

Capacity strengthening of both health and non-health border officials is expected to enhance response to potential disease outbreaks and other health threats.

“This training is not only an opportunity to strengthen the capacity of frontline border officials on health and border management, it also complements the efforts already being undertaken by the respective governments to enhance health surveillance at points of entry to prevent, prepare for and respond effectively to any public health emergencies that may arise at points of entry,” said AJ Morgen, IOM Burundi Chief of Mission.

The training focused on migration and the right to health; humanitarian border management; protection of migrants in vulnerable situations; communicable diseases; healthy practices; and self-protection. It also addressed international health regulations with a focus on points of entry (POE); infection prevention and control; Integrated Disease Surveillance (IDSR) and first aid.

Trainers were drawn from IOM, the Burundi and DRC Ministries of Health, as well as Burundian Migration Services.

This week (3/12), aside from the training, IOM also provided basic equipment and material to support health surveillance at the border at the request of the district-level Ministry of Health in Isale.  IOM had conducted a prior validation meeting with the border officials to agree on a final list of the required equipment. Some of the equipment provided included first aid kits, observation beds, examination tables, stethoscopes, thermometers and various personal protective equipment.

“We are very happy to receive this equipment and material,” said Dr. Joël Nibigira, Medical Director of the Bujumbura Health Province. “They will go a long way in helping the border officials do their work more effectively.”

In the coming months, IOM will work with officials from both sides of the border to develop joint standard operating procedures and carry out a simulation exercise on public health emergency preparedness at the Gatumba/Kamvivira border.

While this project focuses on the Gatumba/Kamvivira border, IOM hopes to be able to scale up similar cross-border joint projects to other points of entry in the country in the future.

For more information please contact: Kerry Kyaa at IOM Burundi, Tel: +257 75400665, Email: kkyaa@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, December 7, 2018 - 13:16Image: Region-Country: Democratic Republic of the CongoThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM delivers equipment and material to support border health surveillance at the Gatumba border, Burundi. Photo: IOM / Kerry Kyaa 

Participants re-enacting proper handwashing techniques during the training. Photo: IOM / Kerry Kyaa 

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Carries Out Displacement Simulation Exercise at Mauritania-Mali Border

IOM - News - Ven, 12/07/2018 - 06:15

Nouakchott – This week (04/12), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Mauritania facilitated a mass displacement border crisis simulation exercise in Bassikounou, South-Eastern Mauritania, at the border with Mali. The exercise was designed to strengthen border management and coordination mechanisms between border communities and local stakeholders during a crisis.

The activity aimed to prepare over 300 key national actors and community members along the Mauritania-Mali border to respond to a potential humanitarian emergency. It was followed by an analysis of existing response mechanisms, and the resulting feedback will lead to the development of an emergency plan for rural communities along the borders.

This preparedness activity and simulation exercise are part of the project Enhancing the Collective Operational Preparedness for Cross Border Migration and Humanitarian Crises between Mauritania and Mali funded by the Japanese government; it is the second exercise organized this year.

IOM facilitated the exercise in close coordination with national administrative and border security authorities as well as their monitoring centres. The Ministers of Interior and Decentralization, Foreign Affairs and Health; the local police and gendarmerie; as well as UN agencies and local NGOs present in Bassikounou (including UNHCR, WFP and UNICEF) actively participated in the exercise. 

Millions of people are displaced in West Africa due to the security situation and instability in the region.

For more information please contact Yohei Komura at IOM Mauritania, Tel: +22249383790, Email: ykomura@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Friday, December 7, 2018 - 13:15Image: Region-Country: MauritaniaThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM responds to latest humanitarian tragedy off the coast of Libya

IOM - News - Mer, 12/05/2018 - 17:48

Tripoli – At least a dozen people are dead after a rubber boat which spent more than 10 days at sea capsized off Misrata, Libya, on Monday.

Ten survivors were rescued and returned to Libya where they were treated by IOM medical staff. Three other passengers remain missing.

“The survivors were all suffering from complete dehydration and exhaustion after being stranded at sea for days,” said IOM physician Dr. Mohamed Abughalia.

“People suffered from trauma, severe malnutrition and burns sustained from the boat’s engine fuel.”

Four cases in need of emergency medical care were transferred to a private hospital in Tripoli.

Six others were moved to detention centres by Libyan authorities, where IOM continues to provide medical care.

“We continue to advocate for alternatives to detention for migrants returned to Libyan shores, specifically for those most vulnerable," said IOM Libya Chief of Mission Othman Belbeisi, who also expressed concern about the lack of search and rescue capacity as the weather worsens with the onset of winter.

“The absence of mechanisms to better manage returns coupled with reduced search and rescue capacity at sea is making the crossing increasingly dangerous for migrants. There are more possibilities to die at sea now than one year ago. This is not acceptable. Saving lives at sea should be the number one priority, and search and rescue operations clearly need to be reinforced."

Media accounts of the migrants’ ordeals differ, but it appears the boat, which was attempting to travel to Italy, was blown hundreds of kilometres off course. Red Crescent spokesman Baha al-Kawash told Agence France-Presse the migrants left for Italy from the city of Sabratha, west of Tripoli, but their vessel was blown 270km east and later overturned.

IOM is following up on the current humanitarian and medical needs of migrants in the detention centre and hospital to ensure they receive adequate assistance. The Organization will provide mental health and psychosocial support to the survivors.

For more information please contact Maya Abu Ata at IOM Libya, Tel: +218910024839, Email:  mabuata@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - 17:36Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Libya medical staff escort a survivor of Monday's tragedy to a Tripoli hospital for emergency treatment. Photo: IOM Libya 

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM and Partners Launch ‘Mirage’ TV Series in Ethiopia

IOM - News - Mar, 12/04/2018 - 10:33

Addis Ababa — The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with the Government of Ethiopia and the National Theatre, launched a TV drama series called Mirage last Friday (30/11).

Mirage artistically depicts the intricate deception ploys employed by smugglers, and the exploitative techniques they use to deceive young vulnerable Ethiopians into taking irregular journeys in search of better opportunities.

The 13-episode TV series, which will start airing on Fana TV at 6:00 PM as of 8 December, features popular Ethiopian artists who were also engaged in script development, acting and directing.

The Government of Ethiopia has extended unwavering support in realizing the project, which is a part of an effort to prevent irregular migration within the country.

In Ethiopia, IOM is engaged in extensive awareness raising and behaviour change initiatives at grassroots level through community conversation, forum theatre performances and peer education, as well as community and school outreach. Mirage, while complementing the efforts of various stakeholders to prevent irregular migration, aims to foster better understanding of irregular migration by contributing to policy decisions and strengthening the response at various levels.

With a large number of Ethiopian returnees registered from the Middle East every month, it is clear that further steps should be taken to curb irregular migration. IOM and the Government of Ethiopia have stepped up their efforts in this area.

In addition to soft support through awareness raising efforts, the organization also provides reintegration assistance to vulnerable returnees through vocational skills training, education, psychosocial support and small business grants.

The project is financed by the Agency for Italian Development Cooperation.

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - 15:35Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

National Theatre dancers performing the Traditional Gofa dance before the launch of ‘Mirage’ in Addis Ababa.   

Launch of ‘Mirage’ at the Ethiopian National Theatre in Addis Ababa. 

National Theatre dancers performing the Traditional Gofa dance before the launch of ‘Mirage’ in Addis Ababa.   

Launch of ‘Mirage’ at the Ethiopian National Theatre in Addis Ababa. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM